Guinep (Quenepa, Mamoncillo, Chennette, Spanish Lime)



It’s guinep season! Whoopee!

Available in North America from June to late August, guinep fruits are imported from several countries in the Caribbean.  Grocery stores that service West Indian populations are more likely to carry these little gems. (Don’t expect to see them at big name grocery chains).

Guinep fruits belong to the soapberry family. Like a lychee or longan, guinep fruits are peeled before eating. Begin by piercing the shell with your teeth. Split the shell into two, and discard the shell. The guinep fruit consists of a fairly large seed buried inside a layer of creamy, citrus flavoured flesh. The flesh of the guinep fruit is stuck to the seed, so connoisseurs suck and scrape the flesh off with their teeth. (Don’t swallow the seed).

The flavour of guinep fruit has been described as a cross between limes and lychees. I think it tastes like Sprite© without the fizziness. They leave your mouth feeling chalky, even though the fruits themselves are not.

If you spot these at a grocery store, grab some. They aren’t available for long, and that makes them all the more special.

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