Project Gastronome, Day 12: Lychee Juice (and wrap party invitees!)


If you've been following along, you know that I have relied heavily on Far East Supermarket as a supplier for Project Gastronome.  I decided to venture a little farther west down 34th Street and check out the Gandhi Bazaar Indian Market and see what they may have to offer.  The store itself offered a very different experience.  Of the two Asian markets that I've visited in Lubbock, there was an abundance of prepared products.  There were raw and bulk materials, too, but a great deal of what they had was essentially ready-to-eat once you broke the seal and did whatever you wanted to with it.  The Indian market was much more heavily focused on bulk and staple items.  I don't know if this is indicative of a larger cultural difference, or just a difference in how this particular subset of ethnic markets in Lubbock, TX operates, but it was something I noticed.

Something that's been helpful to me as I prepared to eat some of these things has been the conversations that I had with the people who sold them to me.  Unfortunately, although the lady working at this market was very friendly, she spoke no English.  I don't hold it against her - I mean, I don't speak Hindi, either.  Still, I like to think that if she did speak English, she'd have said something like this when I brought the bottle of cloudy liquid to the counter: "Danny.  Friend.  I read your blog and I love it.  Do yourself a favor and put that bottle back on the shelf.  It's a novelty item, and we don't really even like it."

Wikipedia tells me that the actual lychee fruit is known for its perfume-like flavor.  I should maybe have read that before I drank a bottle of its juice.  Guys, think of your wife/girlfriend.  Think of how great she smells when she walks by you after she's sprayed on some of her favorite perfume.  Now, has that experience ever made you want to rush to her cosmetics drawer and chug down the rest of the bottle?

Anyway, here's me drinking a bottle of perfume.

On a more pleasant note, I'm very happy to announce the people who will be attending the Project Gastronome wrap party!  They will be receiving invitations in the next day or two, and they are:
  • Roy & Meranda B.
  • John & Jessica Q.
  • Zeb & Michelle A.
  • Holly N.
  • Ann H.
More details soon!


Roy B. said...

The picture on the bottle has a little Georgia O'Keefe quality to it...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps my favorite so far. The ultra deadpan delivery of your verdict is so magnificent! Plus the remorse for having tried it. Then the recommendation. Short, sweet, hilarious!

Boy once you cleared the animal entries, it's been nearly all losers (which is great from my perspective). Keep it up!

Will Meekin said...

What Kyle said.

Danny said...

One thing this project has accomplished is forcing me to recalibrate my reactions, which I think this video captures. Lychee juice is not good, but compared to durian or habaneros, it's at least not *violent*.

Anonymous said...

Also, although I've never had Lychee juice, the fruits themselves are pretty good. A little like eating extra-sweet plums. I've had them at Chinese places before, so I'm not sure if there's a cultural crossover there....

timarland said...

Danny - first of all, I'm very impressed with your adventurous gastronomic spirit. Secondly, I would have never thought that Lubbock would have an Asian market or an Indian market - go figure.

I've never had this brand of Lychee juice, but there's a Mandarin Chinese restaurant that we frequent that makes a Lychee juice martini that is quite tasty. I also had a Lychee juice mai-tai in Maui this year that was equally tasty.

Perhaps the quality of the juice is the culprit for the poor tast here?

Who knows - good luck.

Danny said...

Thanks for the note, Tim! Believe it or not, Lubbock has four Asian markets that I've found so far. I think that it must be because of Texas Tech's fairly large international student population, although none of the stores are all that close to Tech.

I think you may have hit on something important here. Perhaps lychee juice really is best as a part of something else, not on its own. By itself, I didn't care for it, but I could see how it would actually offset really well with the other ingredients in a martini or a mai-tai. To the bar, it's time for some research!

timarland said...

Yes, the common thread is certainly alcohol of some sort - I just tried to search for the recipe for the Lychee Mai Tai that I was referring to - from the Ritz Carlton in Maui - they had seven different mai tai options, and the Lychee was actually my favorite. No luck finding the recipe, but you've now inspired me to do some experimentation this weekend.

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