Kalbasik, sour seeds


Rumor has it that this fruit cannot be open without a door. Throughout my childhood, we enjoyed breaking up these small fruits by putting them in the doorway and closing the door to then savour its delicious sour pulp and black seeds.

If you grew up in Haiti, you probably enjoyed these childhood adventures and know this fruit we call « kalbasik ». Kalbasik are small green fruits with a hard shell much like miniature calabashes with the only difference that kalbasiks are edible of course.

We used to buy these fruits on our long walks from Fort-Jacques to Kenscoff. I still remember the seller’s exact location, about thirty minutes walking distance, for us children, from Kenscoff’s police station. We used to wave to the seller as we made our way up, and picked up our bag full of kalbasiks on our way back. We were eager to get home, which would take another hour or so, where we gathered at the doorstep of our dining room to crush the fruits. We were so impatient that we sometimes tried to crush more than one fruit at a time, which was not quite easy for our tiny hands. A true exercise of patience for kids, if you ask me.

Today, I still wonder whether a door is the only way to open them. I highly doubt it. It is probably simply the easiest way to open these fruits which shell is so hard. You are probably wondering why I don’t give another method a shot, right? Well, truth is, I am so happy to repeat these childhood memories, that I wouldn’t dare changing my ways…

If one day you run into kalbasiks, don’t hesitate to take some with you and to open them at the first door you find. You won’t regret it. Careful though, don’t put too much pressure on the door for you may lost the tiny seeds covered with the sour pulp I enjoyed so much as a child.


  1. Nicole Tassy Ravix

    A travers tes ecrits, je constate que tu as eu une enfance heureuse. Merci de partager tes souvenirs et merci aussi de nous rappeler, certaines recettes haitiennes, certains petits details que seuls les haitiens pourront comprendre et apprecier. Compliments a partager avec les parents. Keep on the good job, dearest…

    1. annick says: Post author

      Aucune idée, nous n’avons jamais tenté de les faire pousser chez nous. Je me demande si Wynn Farm ne saurait pas. Beaucoup de nos arbres fruitiers viennent de leur ferme.

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