“Kenep Trempe” or Rum Soaked Kenep is a Haitian Treat you can prepare only once a year. I am so happy that I don’t even know how to start this post. Last summer I wanted to write a post on Kenep but was unable to write one because I could not find the fruit anywhere. This summer I finally can!
When my sister Erika called me to let me know that she found Kenep, I got so excited that I totally forgot about organizing my posting calendar for the week. Kenep is an “avoid green fruit that grows in bunches on trees up to 30m high. The fruit typically ripens during the summer. The fruit is related to the lychee and has tight, thin but rigid skins. Inside the skin is the tart, tangy, or sweet pulp of the fruit covering a large seed. The pulp is usually cream or orange color.” http://wiwords.com/word/kenep
What is kenep?
Kenep is an “avoid green fruit that grows in bunches on trees up to 30m high. The fruit typically ripens during the summer. The fruit is related to the lychee and has tight, thin but rigid skins. Inside the skin is the tart, tangy, or sweet pulp of the fruit covering a large seed. The pulp is usually cream or orange color.” http://wiwords.com/word/kenep
In other parts of the world, kenep is “commonly called Spanish lime, genip, guinep, genipe, ginepa, quenepa, chenet, canepa, mamon, limoncello or mamoncillo.” (wikipedia.com, 2014) Kenep mostly grows in South and Central America, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean.
Although it is very easy to eat these little egg shaped like fruit, Kenep can stain your clothes if you are not careful. The proper way to eat a Kenep is first to wash the fruit with water, bite into the skin to break it loose or cut it with a knife. The next step is to remove the skin entirely, suck on the seed to remove the outer layer that is eatable. The last step, throw out the seeds and discard.
Is it a snack, a cocktail or a sweet treat?
When I used to live in Haiti, Kenep Trempe was another way to enjoy the fruit. Trempe means soak, and Kenep Trempe is kenep soaked in white rum with sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, and star anise. Instead of adding the lemon rind I opted for a vanilla bean instead to change the flavor. This totally reminds me of the good old days in Haiti!
A great way to enjoy Kenep Trempe is to make sure that the bottle you are using has a wide opening for the kenep to pass through. A mason jar can also be useful if you prefer. With the soaking process, it is almost like you are creating a Kenep liquor with the exception that this little treat can be enjoyed after 2 – 3 days after preparation. Hurry! Get your Kenep and make Kenep Trempe.
Enjoy this Caribbean treat!
- Mason Jar or Bottle
- 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 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 keneps soak in rum for about 2 to 3 days before enjoying Kenep Trempe.