Regional Foodie visits the home of Lychee Divine; lychee growers and producers of some sensational lychee liqueurs and wines, produced on the Fraser Coast.
The Sunshine Coast boasts many wonderful tropical fruits, and a favourite of mine, would have to be the lychee. It is a pretty little fruit. A bright red armour-like shell protects its delicate pearly flesh that is slightly musky, almost peppery in taste.
Originally from China, and held in high regard by the Chinese, who have cultivated lychees for thousands of years, they are considered to be a symbol of romance and good fortune. Nice.
Fresh, the lychee offers unlimited possibilities – as is, lychees salsas, stuffing fresh whole lychees with sweet or savoury fillings or as an interesting addition to curries and salads. But come season end, there is now a way to enjoy lychees all year round…
I have always been quite intrigued by lychees, which is how I came to meet lychee growers Kerry and John Pool, the passionate couple behind Lychee Divine, producers of award winning lychee liqueurs, wines and condiments.
At the time they had a property in Pomona, and while they were already growing lychees, they also were growing peaches and nectarines. They have since relocated to the most wonderful property in Tiaro, approximately 80kms north of Gympie, that not only boasts over 3,000 lychee trees but also a 30+ acre dam that I was completely and utterly envious of and quite captivated with – what a little patch of heaven this place is!
Kerry and John moved to Tairo in 2006. The property had already been planted with lychees and over the years, Kerry and John have planted another 1000 or so trees focusing on three main varieties.
Growing lychees alone, is probably no great feat on the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts, the climate suiting this exotic sub tropical fruit immensely – it doesn’t take much to have a bumper crop when sun and rain marry up to create the ultimate growing conditions. The point of difference for Kerry and John is what they have managed to create with the lychees when the growing conditions are not as ultimate as they would like.