Kenepas, Part Deux


Following up on the yesterday's sighting of kenepas (also known as genipa, quenepa, mamoncillo, or Spanish lime), these are small fruits of Melicoccus bijugatus, a tropical tree. The dark green skin looks like that of a lime, but the resemblance ends there, as it can be neatly cracked open between the teeth with a soft bite.

Once hatched, inside is a large seed covered with a peach-colored layer of sticky, gummy flesh. The taste is sweet-sour, and leaves your tongue with a little of that "furry" feeling some fruits can give you.



Those are cool! I've never come across them before. I think Summer is the time for unusual fruit. I just wrote about kumquats and am planning to write about lychees and rambutans too.


I've seen these summer after summer but finally decided to buy some after a Dominican friend assured me they were edible and, indeed, delicious. They have a very interesting taste but the texture is extraordinary. When you chew the pulp, it solidifies into something between chewing gum and chewed meat! They are highly addictive, too.


Interestingly, lychee and rambutan seem to be part of the same fruit species, Sapindaceae. OK, that's about the extent of my fruit science research . . .


Fruit is pretty amazing in the summer. I love to find new fruits at ethnic grocers in NYC because its stuff I've never tried. Usually I try to ask the vendors what to do with them--it's not always evident.

Lychees are probably my favorite june fruit. While I'm in taiwan for the summer, I've been trying new fruits and packaged foods that have uncommont fruit flavors)--quite frankly the only saving grace for being in Taiwan during the hottest time of the year is the incredible selection of fruit.

I'm going to try to put up some pics soon along with my post.


wow! these are amazing...
what do they taste like?


Well im Puerto Rican and this fruit is a really big part of the spanish heritage, and trust me they are the best if you haven't tried them. I love guinepas


where can I get them? I live in NJ


Where can I find them? My daugther tasted one from a girlfriend, that she no longer goes to school with, and we can't find them anywhere. I'm in Chicago and if anyone knows where I can get them please let me know.


Please tell me where I can find them, I smuggled 1 left over accidentally from my trip to PR and planted the seed in the back yard. Wishful thinking. I live in Bklyn, NY. Where can I find em?


I just got a batch from a co-worker's sister who stays in NY. They are Puerto Rican and believe any of the real Hispanic markets should carry them. I'm excited. I haven't had them since a mid 90's trip to NY.


These are the best! They take me right back to by childhood. My grandparents had a tree on their property in Puerto Rico and we would pick them by the bag full. Here is a tip to purchasing good Kenepas, the skin should be taut and glossy, if the skin is dull and wrinkly they are past their peak. P.S. they will stain your clothes and fingers if you're not careful.


i love them but live in va norfoland they dont sell them here
at all wish i could get some right now


I just bought a bag today, off the street, at a light, on a an off ramp in the Bronx, N.Y. It's been over 15 years since I have eaten quenepas until today! I grew up eatin them, her over in new Jersey, where I live again. I am working in New York City now. i bought them on my way back to the office from an appointment for $2.00. Take everyone!

The Puerto Rican from Passaic, NJ :)


I am Jamaican and we call these miniature delights quineps, similar in sound to the spanish and French/Creole pronunciations. Everyone is right about them being a summer treat. I currently live in Miami where street vendors, topped with straw hats, will sell you a bunch for a mere $2 at the stoplight. It beats waiting in the McDonald's drive-though.


there not unusuall fruit you idiots..there grown in puerto puerto rican i used to suck on those all the tim.e u cant eat them u have to suck on it. then u spit it out.


We called them snotballs!!! Damndest thing I ever tasted in my life. That truly is one of the many things we miss about living in Puerto Rico. Would LOVE to know if it is possible to source some stateside. Yup, seed would definitely hurt going down if swallowed.


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I've eaten these in Key West where I grew up. They are great. I'm going to try to get some this summer in Miami, and send them tlo my family in California.


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