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The guinep is a small, sweet fruit which is very popular in Jamaica. The fruit is very similar to a lychee (in fact, Jamaicans sometimes call lychees "Chinese Guineps"). The fruit is of a similar size, grows in bunches and has a similar textured skin. The skin of a guinep is, however, lime green in colour. Like a lychee, the thin brittle skin needs to be cracked (usually by biting) to reveal the soft edible layer of flesh.
The jelly-like flesh varies in colour from orange / yellow to salmon pink. The layer of flesh is usually thin, surrounding a large seed. Because of the small amount of flesh in relation to the seed, most guinep-eaters tend to put the whole fruit in their mouth and suck the flesh away from the seed before spitting it out. Care should, however, be taken not to choke on the seed, particularly by children. The flesh of a guinep is usually sweet but can sometimes have a tart / sour undertone.
Guineps are usually sold by the roadside in Jamaica in bunches. Once you start eating a bunch it is usually very difficult to stop until they are all finished!
The guinep tree is native to the northern countries in South America and has the scientific name Melicoccus Bijugatus, although it is known by a lot of different names in different countries. Even within the English speaking Caribbean the guinep is known by the name of chenette in Trinidad & Tobago, limoncillo in the Bahamas and ackee in Barbados (which is somewhat confusing since, in Jamaica, ackee is used to describe a totally different fruit)!© 2014 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com