CHAYOTE (Chayota edulis jacq.)

from Tropical Cooking in Panama
A handbook of tropical foods and how to use them
by Gladys R. Graham
Forward by Walter R. Lindsay
Director, Canal Zone Experimental Gardens
Copyright 1947

Contributed by Bob Christensen

Chocho, Guisquil, Guisayote

Here we have the answer to a cook's prayer. If you want a root to serve instead of potatoes, pull it up and boil it. If you need a green salad, peel the fruit and shred it with other green stuff. If you want a substitute for spinach, strip the leaves form the vine. But in removing the leaves and roots, you are taking the feathers and drumsticks from the goose that lays golden eggs, for there will be no more fruit ! Which is another way of saying that the entire chayote plant can be used in one way or another -- all tempting and full of vitamins. The fruit (100 grms or 2/3 cupful) Has 30 calories, the leaves 35, and the root 90. Most of the solids are carbohydrates

The fruit, something like summer squash in flavor, is slightly pear shaped and a delicate green, with slight grooves along the sides. Some are spiny, and some that are past the youngest stages of tenderness have a bit of a center seed and a few root sprouts showing at the bottom. They run from the size of your fist to half again as large, and are all edible except the skin. When you peel them you will feel a peculiar slick astringency on your hands, but it is harmless and washes off in clear water.

Presented by CZBrats
November 25, 1998

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