Thanh Ha thieu lychee is originally a specialty of Hai Duong province’s Thanh Ha district.
Main-crop Thanh Ha thieu lychees are harvested in June
The origin of this specialty plant and fruit has been handed down in history for hundreds of years; however, some people still do not understand and think that there is only Thanh Ha lychee, not Thanh Ha thieu lychee.
The one taking thieu lychee to Vietnam is Hoang Van Com, a native of Thuy Lam hamlet, Thanh Son commune, Thanh Ha district.
When he was young, Com ate delicious lychees at a party with foreigners in Hai Phong. He took three seeds home and germinated them in his garden. The three seeds sprouted but then, two trees died, only one tree has survived for neary 200 years.
Thanks to suitability to soil and climate, the lychee tree grew well and yielded sweet fruits. Every season, the lychee tree was laden with fruits.
Shortly thereafter, Thuy Lam lychee was grown throughout Hai Duong province, especially in Thanh Ha district. Thanh Ha thieu lychee has been famous since then.
During cultivation, Thanh Ha people flexibly and creatively grafted thieu lychee branches to form lychee varieties. Nowadays, Thanh Ha thieu lychee consists of u trung, u hong, tau lai, and main-crop thieu lychee varieties. U trung, u hong, and tau lai are early ripening lychee varieties.
Main-crop Thanh Ha thieu lychee is the last lychee variety to be harvested. Thanh Ha thieu lychee fruits are the smallest among the current lychee varieties.
Thanks to the alluvium deposited by many rivers, the soil in Thanh Ha is suitable for lychee trees to grow well, bringing about rare and precious fruits only this region has.
The stone stele showing Thanh Ha district people’s gratitude to the merit of Hoang Van Com is placed right next to the ancestral lychee tree
The precious lychee varieties brought high economic value to Thanh Ha people. Therefore, many local people later took Thanh Ha thieu lychee trees to new lands, such as Bac Giang and Quang Ninh, for economic development.
Specificallly, in the 1950s and 1960s, Thanh Ha thieu lychee trees accompanied Nguyen Duc Tru, a native of Hai Duong, to Luc Ngan to start a business. At present, in the temple of Hoang Van Com in Thuy Lam hamlet, there remains a hanging of Bac Giang’s Luc Ngan people in a formal position with the words: “The people of all ethnic groups in Luc Ngan district are grateful to Hoang Van Com – the ancestor of thieu lychee.”
Since then, there are Bac Giang lychee and numerous lychee varieties in other places in the market. Gastronomers can realize that Bac Giang lychee fruits are big and succulent but acrid, not as saccharine as Thanh Ha thieu lychee ones. Hence, there is no way for tau lai lychee to represent Thanh Ha lychee or Thanh Ha thieu lychee. It is only one of thieu lychee varieties of Thanh Ha.
Thanh Ha thieu lychee was granted a "Geographical Indication" certificate by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2007; included in the "Top 50 prestigious and quality products" selected by the Central Committee of the Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association in 2012, "Top 10 prestigious and quality products" and "Quintessence of specialties of three regions" in 2013 and 2014; honored with "Golden brand" and "Impressive logo and slogan" awards in 2015; and awarded a "Safe and credible food brand" certificate by the Vietnam Food Safety Association in 2016.
In the same year, the ancestral lychee tree in Thanh Ha was recognized as the oldest thieu lychee tree by the Vietnam Record Association.
In 2018, Thanh Ha thieu lychee was stuck with a traceability stamp.
Aside from the domestic market, Thanh Ha thieu lychees are being favorably sold in fastidious markets like Japan, the US, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Thus, consumers should learn carefully so as not to confuse main-crop Thanh Ha thieu lychee with tau lai lychee and equate the quality and appearance of different lychee varieties because of incorrect information on the internet, affecting the brand name of Thanh Ha thieu lychee that Thanh Ha lychee growers have built for a long time.