Region of Origin
Description & Origin
Quenepa are the fruits of a subtropical tree in the Sapindaceae family, also known as the soapberry family. They are closely related to lychee, longan, and rambutan. The small fruits grow in grape-like clusters and are shipped with stems intact to avoid damage to the fruit. They have thin, leathery green skin that often has some brown scarring, which is normal. Inside is a large central seed surro...
Mamoncillo, Mamon, Muco, Ginep, Guinep, Ginep, Kenep, Limoncillo, Spanish Lime
Health Benefits & Nutrition
Quenepa contains a small amount of calcium and phosphorus. In traditional medicine, the fruit and seed have been used to treat gastro-intestinal ailments and hypertension. Some research into the phenolic composition of quenepa suggests there may be some scientific backing for these uses, but information and studies are limited. It is believed that consuming excessive amounts of quenepa may irritate the throat.
Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)
Traditional Culinary Uses
Quenepa are primarily eaten out of hand as a snack, often with chile powder, salt, and lime. They are also made into jams, jellies, and juices. In the Caribbean, quenepas are sometimes soaked with rum to make a traditional drink known as Kenep Trempe in Haiti and Bilí in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The seeds are sometimes eaten after roasting.
Coconut, Lime, Ginger, Chile Pepper, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Star Anise
How to Use
Quenepa are most often consumed out of hand by biting gently into the skin to crack it open, removing the “top”, and popping out the fruit, which is sucked on until the juice is gone from the pit, which is then discarded. Care should be used when eating as the pulp is very slippery and the seed could easily be swallowed and cause choking. Sometimes, the seed is cracked or crushed with the teeth before sucking to avoid the choking hazard. It is then spit out, like chewing gum, once the flavor is extracted. The peeled fruits can also be soaked or boiled in liquid to extract their sugars and flavor.
How to Store in the Kitchen
Quenepa can be stored at room temperature, but are delicious eaten cold and can be refrigerated for a few days prior to consumption.
Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking
Quenepa seeds are edible! The seed can be peeled, cracked, and roasted.
Warehouse Storage & Handling
Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*
IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:
RECOMMENDED TEMP STORAGE ZONE:
55-60°F (Warm Storage)
SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:
SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:
RIPENS AFTER HARVEST:
PROFESSIONAL RIPENING RECOMMENDED:
Quenepa are shipped with stem intact. Some brown scarring on the fruits is normal and does not affect eating quality. The fruit should be well-sized and relatively uniform in shape and size. Ripeness is determined by the flavor of the pulp, which should be tart but also sweet.
Important Handling Notes
Little is known about the proper handling of quenepa in the commercial supply chain. Experimentation may be necessary.
Optimum Shelf Life
Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, quenepa may last 1-2 weeks.