Mirliton, Vegetable Pear, Mango Squash
Caribbean, Mexico and the United States.
34°F. Keep cold and dry.
Now very popular, the chayote squash blends flavors of turnip, cucumber and zucchini. The pear-shaped, summer squash, which is grown in warmer and more tropical climates such as the Caribbean or Mexico is pale green or white in color with a smooth or prickly skin, the Chayote has a creased rind that is usually peeled, exposing a white inner meat with a single soft, seed in the center. Chayotes come in two common varities, the smooth variety shown here and a prickly variety (covered in spines).
A good source of vitamin A, potassium and fiber.
The chayote can be sliced and sauteed or deep-fried. Somewhat similar to zucchini, the meat of this squash has a firmer texture than zucchini and provides a mildly sweet flavor. The chayote's mild tasting contents make it a versatile vegetable to be boiled, fried, sautéed, or steamed for use in soups, as a stuffed squash, in stir-fried dishes, or served in salads.
Chayote (Sechium edule) was actually domesticated in Mexico and seen in South American until after the Spanish conquest. (Sophie Coe, America's First Cuisines). The starchy squash was a staple of the Aztecs. The name chayote is derived from the Nahuatl world chayotli.
The Mayans added chayote shoots (as a green) to beans and also ate the fruit and the starchy roots.