What Is Chayote?

Description: Also known as choko, machuchu, cristophine, vegetable pear, and (our favorite) cho-cho, the chayote is a light green, roughly pear-shaped fruit in the same family as melons, cucumbers, and squash. The white-fleshed interior has a single flat pit.    

Cuisine Connection: Cultivated since pre-Columbian times, chayote is originally native to Mexico, but its growing regions have expanded to Brazil and Costa Rica. It can be added to salads and salsas, or, if cooked, used in much the same way squash is. Brazilians will often bread and fry it.   

Flavor Profile: The texture resembles a cross between a cucumber and a potato, and the mild taste is similar to a cucumber.

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Storage: Chayotes shrivel if stored under dry conditions, regardless of temperature. They should be placed in a plastic bag before storing in the refrigerator. 

McChayote Pie?:  A rumor persists in Australia (where chayotes grow considerably and apples not so much) that McDonald’s uses chayotes instead of apples in their pies. McDonald’s has denied the claim. 

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