Name Variations Edit
- Iskus (Gorkhali)
- mango squash
- pear squash
- vegetable pear
- custard marrow
About Chayote Edit
Wikipedia Article About Chayote on Wikipedia
Chayote is a gourd-like squash that is about the size and shape of a very large pear. The skin is pale green and smooth with slight ridges that run lengthwise. Many compare the color to a light green apple. The flesh is white and there is one soft seed in the middle. Chayote is grown in several states including California, Florida, and Louisiana, but it is native to Latin America. Historically, this squash was one of the primary foods of the Aztecs and Mayas. Chayote is also called mirliton and the French call it christophene.
The chayote (Sechium edule) is an edible plant, which belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The vine is grown on the ground or more commonly on trellises.
Chayote, a pear-shaped member of the squash family, has a mild flavor and a moist texture reminiscent of cucumbers or zucchini. Although one variety has dark green, prickly skin, most chayotes available outside Mexico have relatively smooth, pale green skin.
Select squash that are small, firm and unblemished; just as you would select a pear. Choose squash that is heavy for its size. Tender skin, skin that reacts to pressure, often means poor quality. Chayote is commonly found in supermarkets during peak season (December to March), but may be found in larger supermarkets and specialty markets throughout the year.
Chayote has a bland-tasting flesh that may be used in several ways. It may be prepared in similar ways to other summer squash, such as zucchini, but may require peeling and a bit more seasoning. Chayote is most commonly used in side dishes, stews, and casseroles. It may also be sliced in half and baked. The soft seed is edible, but many choose to remove it.
Refrigerate whole chayote in a plastic bag for up to one month. Cut chayote may be refrigerated in a covered container or tightly wrapped for 3 to 5 days. It is best to use chopped chayote immediately, as it can gather flavors from other foods stored in the refrigerator.
Chayote Variations Edit
- Mirliton – A mild flavored, pear-shaped squash, which are grown in Florida, California and the Caribbean. It has a pale green, creased rind and a single soft seed in the center. The mirliton's pleasant, mild flavor makes it a versatile vegetable that can be boiled, fried, sautéed, added to soups, stuffed or served as a salad. They are also frequently called chayotes. Mirlitons are available all year round, but the best time for them is September through December. When selecting, choose those that are about six inches long and weigh no more than 1/4 lb., with smooth skins that do not have blemishes or soft spots. They will keep three to four days when wrapped in plastic and stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
- Exotic Fruits and Vegetables from Fruits and Vegetables Matter by the Centers for Disease Control, public domain government recipe—original source of article