“Most natural product research is market-driven and thus many plant species are overlooked for their health value due to lack of financial incentives. This may explain the limited information available about the health effects of the edible fruit species Melicoccus bijugatus.”
An exotic tropical fruit known by many names, the quenepa is an interesting, flavorful, fantastically nutritious little treat.
Whether you call it Spanish lime, ackee, genipe, limoncillo, mamoncillo, honeyberry, or any of its other monikers, the yellow/orange pulpy fruit tastes a bit like a cross between a lime and a lychee.
It’s not a citrus fruit as it may sound but—like citrus—it grows naturally in the tropics—mostly in the Caribbean and South America.
Taste of the Tropics
The flavor of the quenepa can range from sweet to sour. The sour variety is often eaten with chili pepper, lime, and salt. The sweet is eaten just as it is, biting through the outer shell and sucking out the succulent inside—somewhat like a lychee.
The nutrition of the quenepa is impressive, with a wide range of vitamins (A, B complex, and C), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, and iron), proteins, fatty and amino acids (tryptophan and lysine the most notable), phytonutrients, and fiber.
Roasted seeds contain antioxidants and antifungal properties and have been used to grind into flour and mixed with water to treat diarrhea.
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