San Pedro Street Treats: Kenep
by Marty on 05/21/13 11:08 AM

Itís kenep season once again! They can be found at almost every little fruit stand across town that has fresh produce for sale. The local vendors sell them by the bag for a low cost of $2. Many people call it by different names (kenep, kinep, waya, guinep, mamones, Mexican lime), one fact remains unchanged: the sweet yet tart flavor makes it a great snack, any time of the day.

The fruit typically ripens during the summer and grows in bunches on trees up to 30 meters high. You can find a kenep tree virtually in any district of mainland Belize. The outer skin of the fruit is green and thick, I personally compare it to a soft nut shell. To get to the yummy insides you use your teeth to break the casing open. The pulp is an orange or peach color, depending on the type and the stage of ripening. It is sweet and juicy, yet sour at the same time, and the texture is so smooth and silky it sends your taste buds on an unexpected ride. Pop the fruit in your mouth, and suck or chew the flesh away. When only the seed remains, you spit it out.

The simplest way to eat them is fresh out of the bag, but if you donít mind doing a little extra labor you can enjoy them my way. My favorite way to eat kenep is marinated overnight in the refrigerator with lots and lots of lime, salt and red ground pepper. It is a little tedious to prepare, since you need to take the time to peel all of them and place them in a bowl. Once step one is complete the fun parts begins: tossing in all the yummy spices. The next day your hard work pays off, your taste buds enjoy a flavor explosion!

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