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Kenep Trempe: A Seasonal Haitian Delight

Haitian Kenep Trempe

A Taste of the Tropics, Kenep, also called quenepas, quenep, or genip, is a must-try snack or dessert if you want to categorize it as such.

Kenep Trempe, also known as Rum Soaked Kenep, is a quintessential summer dessert in Haiti. Featuring the unique flavor of kenep, a small, sweet-tart fruit also known as the Haitian Star Apple or Spanish Lime, it’s soaked in rum and infused with spices for a truly special experience.

Prepare to embark on a delicious journey with this authentic Haitian treat!

What is Kenep/ A Family Affair: Kenep’s Botanical Buddies

Kenep belongs to the Sapindaceae family, also known as the soapberry family. This botanical bunch includes some of your favorite juicy treats: lychee, longan, and rambutan. So, if you’re a fan of those fruits, kenep is definitely worth exploring!

Visually Appealing: Bunches of Beauty

Imagine grape-like clusters adorned with tiny green fruits, some bearing a touch of brown – that’s kenep! These fruits are shipped with their stems still attached to ensure they arrive in perfect condition. The thin, leathery green skin gives way to a vibrant surprise inside.

Caribbean Kenep fruit
Kenep Fruit

A Burst of Flavor: Sweet, Tart, and Refreshing

Crack open a kenep and discover a treasure trove of orange or salmon-colored, jelly-like flesh surrounding a large central seed. This delectable pulp is the star of the show. Its flavor profile is a delightful balance of sweet and tart, with hints of lime and lychee dancing on your palate.

A Tropical Tradition: From Seed to Table – It’s Origin

Kenep is believed to have originated in northern South America, particularly Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Surinam. Today, it’s a beloved staple throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and parts of northern South America. Traditionally, kenep is grown for local consumption. However, some countries have embraced commercial production and export, making this tropical treat more widely available.

Kenep: A Tropical Treat

Kenep is a delicious tropical fruit that grows in clusters on tall trees. It ripens during the summer months, offering a refreshing burst of flavor in hot weather. Related to the lychee, kenep has a thin, tough skin that encases a sweet, tangy, or tart pulp. This pulp, usually cream or orange in color, surrounds a large seed.

While kenep is known as “kenep” in some regions, it has many other names around the world, including Spanish lime, genip, guinep, and mamoncillo.

Found primarily in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and the Dominican Republic, kenep is easy to enjoy. Simply wash the fruit, break open the thin skin with your teeth or a knife, and savor the juicy flesh. Be careful, though, as the pulp can stain your clothes! Once you’ve enjoyed the flesh, discard the seed.

Kenep Trempe: A Taste of the Caribbean

Kenep Trempe takes this delightful fruit to a whole new level! It’s not a traditional cocktail but shares some characteristics with rum-infused liqueurs. Made by soaking kenep fruit in white rum with sugar, cinnamon, and aromatics like star anise, Kenep Trempe offers a burst of sweet and tangy fruit flavors alongside the warmth of rum and the subtle notes of spices.

How is Kenep Trempe Made?

Kenep Trempe is surprisingly simple to prepare at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

Haitian Kenep Trempe
Haitian Kenep Trempe

Simply combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or wide-mouthed bottle, ensuring the fruit fits comfortably. Let it soak for 2-3 days, allowing the kenep to absorb the rum and spices. The result? A delightful infused treat reminiscent of the Caribbean, bursting with the vibrant flavors of Kenep Trempe!

Kenep Trempe: Tips & Tastes

Tailoring the Treat:

  • Ripe for the Picking: If your kenep isn’t fully ripe, a touch more sugar can balance the tartness.
  • Spice Up Your Life: Craving bolder flavors? Experiment with additional spices like cloves, ginger, or allspice.
  • Fruity Fusion: Feeling adventurous? Add other fruits like mangoes, pineapples, or bananas for a tropical twist.

Beyond the Basics:

Kenep Trempe isn’t just delicious, it’s packed with vitamins A and C! So, savor the summer sun and indulge in this refreshing, healthy treat. Remember, the kenep season is fleeting, so cherish this time and enjoy the vibrant flavors of Kenep Trempe!


Kenep Trempe or Rum Soaked Kenep, a delicious Caribbean Treat

Kenep Trempe or Rum Soaked Kenep, a delicious Caribbean Treat.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Inactive Time 2 days
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Beverages
Cuisine Caribbean


  • Mason Jar or Bottle
  • Kenep
  • White Rum – about 1 cup or more
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 – 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 – 3 star Anise
  • Lemon rind – optional
  • 1 – 2 vanilla bean


  • Wash all the keneps, remove skin and place seeds in jar or bottle along with cinnamon stick(s), star anise, vanilla bean(s) and lemon rind if using. Add white rum – enough to cover all keneps. Add enough sugar to taste. Shake bottle or jar to mix. Let the keneps soak in rum for about 2 to 3 days before enjoying Kenep Trempe.


Let the keneps soak in rum for about 2 to 3 days before enjoying Kenep Trempe.


Serving: 1grams

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword alcohol, caribeban drink, cocktail, kenep
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

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