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Where to buy Spanish limes locally (aka, quenapas, mamoncillo, mamón, mamones, chenet, guaya, gnep, ginep, skinnip, genip, guinep, ginnip, genups, kenèp, quenepa, genepa, xenepam, limoncillo)?

damian Dec 6, 2011 02:53 PM

Anyone know where I can buy Spanish limes (aka, quenapas, mamoncillo, mamón, mamones, chenet, guaya, gnep, ginep, skinnip, genip, guinep, ginnip, genups, kenèp, quenepa, genepa, xenepam, limoncillo) in the Bay Area, preferably the East Bay?

I ate this exotic longan-like lemonadey-tasting fruit in the Bahamas a few years ago and I can't stop thinking about it!

I've read that they're grown in Florida and Puerto Rico, but I can't find them in the local markets I would most suspect of having them (Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market). Perhaps there's some Latino market or other market somewhere that has them?

Also, I've read that the season is normally June through September, so they may not be available now, but I want to be prepared for next year!

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  1. wolfe RE: damian Dec 6, 2011 03:43 PM

    Call Spanish Table perhaps they can direct you.
    The Spanish Table 2
    1814 San Pablo Ave
    Berkeley, CA 94702
    (510) 548-1383

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: damian Dec 6, 2011 03:57 PM

      If they're available around here, maybe Mi Pueblo, Oriental Lucky Mart, African-Caribbian, or Minto. You might also ask Sarah Kirnon, the chef at Hibiscus, she gets some hard-to-find stuff.

      Oriental Lucky Mart
      535 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

      Mi Tierra
      2096 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA

      African Caribbean Food Market
      547 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 6, 2011 04:03 PM

        Right link.

        Minto Jamaican Market
        4042 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

      2. melpy RE: damian Dec 6, 2011 04:19 PM

        Really? In Florida? When I studied in Puerto Rico I was told they aren't sold on the "mainland". Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: melpy
          Windy RE: melpy Dec 6, 2011 04:23 PM

          They were my favorite fruit in the Bahamas. You could occasionally find them in Miami from someone's tree.

          Never seen them in California, and I doubt they travel well.

        2. fruti RE: damian Dec 6, 2011 09:29 PM

          Are the also called finger limes? Tiny and, well somewhat shaped like half a pinkie. Monterey Market had those Sunday. They were pricey so while I was curious I didn't get any.

          2 Replies
          1. re: fruti
            Windy RE: fruti Dec 6, 2011 09:36 PM

            Here they are. Although the ones I remember weren't so green on the outside. In Nassau they called them kinepas.

            1. re: fruti
              Robert Lauriston RE: fruti Dec 7, 2011 09:04 AM

              Finger limes are something else. "Spanish limes" are not limes, or any kind of citrus. Or for that matter Spanish.

            2. b
              bigwheel042 RE: damian Dec 7, 2011 01:19 AM

              I actually managed to buy these once a year or two ago, being sold by a Central American street vendor on the corner of Mission and I think 19th. There were some other vendors setting up a little street market of other (Salvadoran?) goods too. Never seen the guy since but I don't pass that corner routinely these days.

              1. t
                tardigrade RE: damian Jun 26, 2012 08:34 PM

                It is extremely difficult to bring fresh citrus into California. The street vendors mentioned in another post are most likely doing it illegally with smuggled fruit. There's a reason why they're banned: California is one of the major citrus growing areas, and introduction of pests by people smuggling in a fruit or two does cause problems. I was here for the Medfly scare in the 80s: an fruit containing eggs for the Mediterranean fruit fly caused the destruction of a lot of home grown fruit, along with aerial spraying of residential areas.

                Visit the Barbados and enjoy them, or encourage the California Citrus Research Board to introduce disease and pest-free varieties. Do NOT encourage people to bring in citrus illegally: we're currently facing a real threat to home citrus crops from Asian citrus virus, and we don't need more potential pests.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tardigrade
                  bigwheel042 RE: tardigrade Jun 27, 2012 08:09 PM

                  The fruit being discussed in this thread, Melicoccus bijugatus, is not a citrus fruit. It's in the soapberry family along with lychee, rambutan, and a number of other tropical fruits.

                2. casalbore spirit RE: damian Jun 27, 2012 02:07 PM

                  Ginep!!My second favorite fruit after soursop,during much time spent in Jamaica.Have bought them in Carribean markets in Brooklyn,however have never seen them on the Left Coast!They are real...take your time fruit....because of not much pulp and a lot of work with a thick outer shell and a big seed you have to suck to get the fruit?Kind of liike when you eat pistachios or crawfisf.Totally delicious,like a cross between lychee and plum.

                  1. s
                    Sailfast RE: damian Jul 22, 2012 01:35 PM

                    Spanish limes are my favorite! Although i know them by mamoncillo or quenepa. I remember eating them all of the time when i was a child growing up in miami. I will admit that they are very hard to find. I was doing some research online and I found a website that sells them. I believe that it is called Farmtropical.com. I ordered a couple of boxes, one for my mom and another for my brother. My brother lives in new york and my mom lives in california, they both said that the mamoncillios arrived perfect and that they were delicious. The customer service was great and the site also sells a wide variety of tropical fruits all grown in south florida. Its a win win situation if you ask me. What a cool way to buy fruits that you just cant find anywhere else, and all of the produce is grown right here in the USA! If you are looking for spanish limes or any other kinds of fruit i suggest that you check the site out.

                    1. b
                      bigwheel042 RE: damian Sep 1, 2012 07:00 PM

                      To my great surprise I just saw these at New May Wah on Clement. $4/lb, from Mexico apparently. They didn't look in great shape, though.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bigwheel042
                        bigwheel042 RE: bigwheel042 Sep 1, 2012 10:18 PM

                        picture of the mamoncillo: not terrible, but not with the fresh sheen I've seen them with when they haven't gone on a road trip.

                      2. l
                        Lesliepbg RE: damian Sep 1, 2012 08:20 PM

                        They are available in NYC so they can be had in the US. But don't know SF markets...hope you find them--they have an interesting taste and feel to eating them--leave the mouth very puckery.

                        1. b
                          bigwheel042 RE: damian Jun 3, 2014 06:22 PM

                          Spotted bags of them at the Casa Guadalupe at 25th/mission. $4/lb.

                          1. c
                            Cris1233 RE: damian Jun 20, 2014 05:52 PM

                            I found them at northgate market

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