Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Food Glossary: Chayote

The chayote, a member of the gourd family (along with cucumbers, squash and melons), was once the principal food of the aztecs and mayans.  It is a very popular vegetable along with the Ayote, and is often refered to as the ‘vegetable pear’ (it is usually the size of a large avocado or pear).  Skin colour can range from light green, to dark green or even white.  The chayote is abundant in Costa Rica and is therefore the country’s most popular vegetable.  The flavour can be quite bland (and as I mentioned about the ayote – rather watery) and so usually requires seasoning.  Both seed and flesh can be eaten.  They must be cooked to be eaten and be cooked in a variety of ways  - baked, boiled, steamed or sautéed.  The chayote is commonly used in picadillos, stewed, added to salads, battered and fried, mashed or stuffed.  Alone, they are fairly low in calories, however they are often served using butter or cream.  When buying this veg the ‘harder the better’ as they will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.


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