In Culture Personal Summer Stories

Kenep: Summer Stories Series

My fondest childhood memories in Haiti are lodged in the summer.
In the summer we had time for mischief, time to be creative, time to discover all kinds of things. Well at least that's how it was for my best friends and I.

Every summer was different in the amount of freedom we took, the things we discovered, and how scorching hot the weather was but one thing never changed.
Starting in July, when my mother would be doing her usual summer teaching and side hustle activities, she would leave a couple of dollars on the table for me and my best friend/cousin every morning. Without fail, we would be up bright and way earlier than kids should get up in the summer. We would grab the dollars and marched on to roam the outdoors market nearby for one thing; the sweetest kenep we could find. Later with satisfied smiles,  hands full, and sometimes a seller calling us out for sampling without buying, we would make it back to my front porch to sit there and enjoy our kenep while we  people watched.

To this day I can hear warnings from our neighbors "timoun nou manje trop kenep, yon pye kenep ap leve nan vant nou wi" We would giggle and shake our heads no, there is no such thing as too much kenep and no a tree cannot possibly grow inside our stomachs and if it did well, more kenep for us lol.

Now that i'm older and certainly not in Haiti every summer, I relish every chance I get to savor this fruit. It's amazing how I never tire of it and I'm forever telling people to try it. I'm a kenep pusher lol. I could eat it every day for the whole summer. I get ridiculously happy when someone brings me some as a gift. As a matter of fact, the bunch that my grandma brought me from Haiti last week inspired this story. 
If you're looking for it, it's usually called mamoncillo around here and sometimes you can find it in Publix stores in Florida and also different Caribbean stores everywhere else. Once I found some at a local health food store in Central Florida, so just keep your eyes open and enjoy if you find some good ones :)

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3 lovely comments:

  1. Good times (:
    You can't forget about mango and can someone please remind of this fruit (well it was probably a nut). You would have to crush it to get to the really small nut-like thing inside. The shell was like 50 times what was actually inside but it was always worth the effort.

  2. lol believe it or not i think that was almonds. "zanmann"

  3. In some area in haiti they do roast the nut and eat it . I Have try it before and it's great, but usually it's the pink outer layer of the fruit that most people eat .


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