Thursday, October 12, 2006

Strange Food - Puerto Rico


The Quenepa is a medium to large exotic tree planted for its edible fruit and shade. It is native to the American tropics, is widely cultivated in the West Indies. It is not related to citrus limes. Fruits are borne in clusters. Individual fruits are ovoid in shape, an inch or more long, and have a thin, brittle skin. Inside is a thin layer of tart to sweet pulp and a large seed. It flowers in spring (April to June) and ripens in late summer (June to September). The edible portion is the juicy pulp. The seeds are edible after roasting... I've NEVER eaten ginep's roasted seeds though.

Other Common Names for this member of the Soapberry Family (Sapindaceae) tree are: --genip, ginep (Virgin Islands); mamon (Spanish, commerce); mamoncillo (Spanish); quenepa (Puerto Rico, Colombia); limoncillo, quenepa (Dominican Republic); escanjocote (Nicaragua); mamon de Cartagena (Costa Rica); Spanish-lime, genip, mamoncillo (US); genip (English); chenet (Trinidad); quenepe (Haiti);quenette, quenettier, kenepier (Guadeloupe); quenette (French Guiana); kenepa, kinnup-tree (Dutch West Indies); knippen (Surinam).

Caloric Content? You can eat up to 98 small quenepas and you will still be under 150 calories. Isn't it neat!?

If you ever come to Puerto Rico during the summer, and you happen to see someone selling it on the street, do not hesitate in buying some. I know you will truly enjoy the experience! BUT be carefull with your outfit... It stains!!!


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