So many strange and lovely local fruits are in season at the moment and I spied these marble-sized green globes in a cardboard box amid a bunch of other farm-fresh offerings. My heart fluttered, are those…kineps? Kin-yep! Right on, these are a real treat and if you see some, get some because they aren’t available all the time. What are these neat little fruits and how do you eat them? Here’s what you need to know about kineps.
Kineps grow in bunches on trees that look similar to lychee trees. The fruit comes in to season in June and July and you can find them (if just in limited quantities) at the local produce stands or farm trucks and sometimes being hawked at speed humps along the highway in bags for a dollar or two.
They fruit is small, about the size of a quail egg, and has a proportionally large stone inside. You’ll “pop” the outer shell with your teeth and discard. The outer, green casing is only semi-hard and when broken it gives way with a pleasant “pop.” Once you burst the casing you’ll find the fruit flesh inside surrounding the pit. The taste is sweet with hints of honey and just a touch of tang but it’s the texture that I really love. They are so smooooth and soft! The mouth feel is amazing, like what I think it would feel like to hold an angel’s eyeball in your mouth. AMAZING!
You can just hold these little orbs in your mouth, one at a time, and slowly gnaw off the fruit flesh before spitting out the pit. I could nurse a handful of kineps all afternoon. Enjoy at room temperature or keep them in the fridge. I bet you can’t eat just one!