9 Fruits That Look & Taste Like Lychee

Do you love lychees? If so, you might be looking for some other fruits that look and taste a little like a lychee, so you can vary your diet and try a few new things.

Lychees are enormously unique fruits, but there are still a few things out there that share some of their characteristics. For example, you might want to try longans, rambutans, grapes, rosehips, or durians. Jackfruits are another option, and the snake fruit is similar too.

That’s a lot of unusual fruits, some of which you may never have heard of. Let’s look at them and how they relate to lychees!

Which Fruits Look Like Lychees?

Of all the fruits out there, lychees must be one of the weirdest in terms of their appearance. They are spiky and pink on the outside, leading to some people calling them alligator strawberries. Not many other fruits share their appearance too closely, but there are some with a similar look:

  • Snake fruit/salaks
  • Jackfruits
  • Durians
  • Rambutans
  • Longans

Some of these are related to lychees, which explains the similarities – so let’s check this out in more detail!

Snake Fruits

snake fruits

The snake fruit gets its name from its amazing, scale-like texture, which is similar to a lychee’s, at least at a glance. It is bumpy and textured, reddish-pink in color, and oval in shape. It is therefore pretty similar to a lychee in many ways.

Even when you peel it, the similarities continue, with pale colored flesh inside, and a dark pit at the center. A snake fruit doesn’t taste like a lychee, but its appearance is pretty close!

Jackfruits

jackfruit

Jackfruits look like lychees in terms of their unusual, bumpy texture. This is quite unusual for fruits, and means that a jackfruit can appear pretty similar, especially if you compare it to an unripe lychee, which will be green. 

Jackfruits are bright green and much larger than lychees. Most people can fit multiple lychees in one hand, while many jackfruits are bigger than pineapples, and require two hands to hold them.

Durians

durian

Durians are famous for their bad smell, but they do look quite a lot like unripe lychees because of their bumpy, textured skins. Again, they are much larger than lychees, but than unusual texture makes them another similar lookalike.

Rambutans

rambutan

Rambutans are amazingly similar to lychees, which may be because they come from the same family. They are hairier than lychees, and look a little like crazy pink hedgehogs. Where lychees are bumpy, rambutans have wild, soft spines growing in all directions, and curling in against the skin.

Inside, they share the same pale flesh and dark pit. It is easy to confuse lychees and rambutans, but rambutans have much longer spines, so you should be able to tell them apart when you put them side by side.

Longans

longan

Longans are also related to lychees, but the outsides don’t look much like a lychee’s exterior. They are smoother and a sort of dull yellow color, rather than pink. However, split a longan open and you will be able to clearly see how closely these plants are related.

A longan has a translucent, jelly-like interior with a dark stone in the center, just like a lychee has. Once peeled, it might be pretty tricky to tell the two fruits apart.

Which Fruits Taste Like Lychees?

A lychee’s taste is equally pretty unique and hard to replicate, and there is a lot of disagreement about what these fruits taste like. Different people describe them in different ways. That makes it tricky to choose fruits that taste like lychees, but here are a few you might notice as being particularly close.

  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Watermelons
  • Longans
  • Rambutans

None of these fruits taste exactly like lychees, but they are probably the closest you will find, and combining several could get you a flavor similar to lychees.

Grapes

grapes

Grapes may not be the first thing you think of when you look to replicate the flavor of a lychee. After all, grapes are much more common fruits, but their taste does overlap with the taste of a lychee. For starters, their texture is somewhat similar, although grapes tend to be juicier.

Lychees also have a slightly fragrant, grape-like taste. If you are trying to replicate them, grapes may be your best option.

Strawberries

strawberries

Strawberries don’t taste exactly like lychees, but a lot of people describe hints of strawberry weaving through the other lychee flavors. If you’re trying to mix a lychee-like flavor without the actual lychees, add a few strawberries for their sweetness.

Pears

pears

Again, pears on their own can’t replicate a lychee, but a lot of people taste pears when they eat lychees. The texture is very different, but the taste isn’t far off. Pears can be used as a substitute for lychees in things like cocktails and will produce a similarly sweet, fruity flavor.

Watermelons

watermelon

Watermelon is sometimes compared to lychees. The flavor certainly isn’t exact, but you might find a bit of watermelon helps to build up the complex taste that lychees have, so don’t be afraid to try this in a fruit salad or something similar. Watermelons don’t have the dry texture, since they are such juicy fruits, but they still are slightly reminiscent of lychees.

Longans

A longan is very similar to a lychee in terms of both its texture and its taste, but longans are a bit tarter. If you want to cook with them, you may need to add a little sugar or other sweetener to make them taste more like lychees.

Rambutans

Rambutans are a little more floral and acidic than lychees, but they will serve as a good replacement. Lychees tend to have a creamier taste overall, but you can definitely tell these fruits are related by the taste.

Conclusion

Lychees are pretty unique fruits, but even they have a few lookalikes and fruits that taste similar to them. In terms of taste, they are usually described as being a mix of other fruits, so try out different flavor combinations and see what works for you!