Cucurbitaceae Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.
Also Known As : Choco, Xuxu, Alligator pear, Kajot, Choke, Merliton, Christophine, Vegetable pear, Pepineca
pronounced [chah-YOH-teh] or [ชา-โย-เต้ ] in Thai.
Chayote is an important food crop in tropical regions. The plant is a perennial-rooted vine, which bears fruit that is green to white and varying in size from a few ounces up to 2 pounds. It somewhat resembles summer squash both in appearance and use. Fruit surface may be smooth or wrinkled or prickly. In tropical regions the plants are often trained on trellis or other supports and produce fruit almost continuously. Fruits contain a single large seed. In the U.S., fruits are usually eaten, after boiling or frying. In the tropics, roots as well as fruits are used as food.
Chayote was actually domesticated in Mexico and seen in South American until after the Spanish conquest. 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.
Chayote have become popular in the U.S. and are found in many large markets. They are being cultivated in Florida, California, and Louisiana. They are very common in Latino grocery stores. Select firm, smooth, unwrinkled chayote. Old chayote become very wrinkled and become dry and tough. Chayote will keep refrigerated for many days but it is best to use as quickly as possible.
Chayote in Thailand
Chayote is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.