Spanish Lime (Melicoccus bijugatus) is a fruit in the Sapindaceae family of plants and is distantly related to lychee and longan.
Despite, their name, they aren’t related to the citrus family at all.
They are native to South America and are commonly found there and in the Caribbean and central America as well. Depending on the country its being grown Spanish Lime can go by several names, including ‘genip’, ‘quenepa’, ‘mammon’, or ‘mamoncillo’.
We are fortunate to have a large female Spanish Lime tree that fruits most years. The fruit are typically available in limited quantities from late July into August.
There are male and female trees, and to get fruit one requires a female as the males do not fruit themselves. The fruit are born in clusters and are about the size of a walnut, round/oval in shape and have a thin, rigid shell that can be peeled off to reveal an orange colored flesh that adheres to a single seed (sometimes two). The juicy, tart/sweet flesh is then sucked off the seed.