chayote

[chahy-oh-tee]

What does chayote mean?

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Chayote is a light green, pear-shaped, squash-like fruit popular in Central American cuisine.

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Examples of chayote

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Examples of chayote
Sometimes we randomly add veggies we've never eaten before to our curry. Tonight it was chayote squash. Turned out pretty well.
@Annaleen, December 2018
Even in the heat of summer, Horacio Fuentes doesn't need any shade in his Wilshire Park backyard. After all, he has a chayote. A seamless sea of green runs from the second-floor eaves of his house to the detached garage in the back, shading the entire length of the driveway.
Jeff Spurrier, Los Angeles Times, August 2012
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Where does chayote come from?

Epicurious

Chayote (Sechium edule) is a member of the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, native to Mesoamerica. Its common Spanish name is chayote, which derives from the Nahuatl word, chayohtli. It’s also known as mirliton squash.

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Chayote was a staple in the diets of the ancients Aztecs and Mayans. European colonists later spread the plant to the Caribbean islands and Europe. Today, the plant is eaten all over the world and grown in various warm climates.

Chayote is described to have a mild taste, similar to a potato and cucumber. Raw chayote is often used in salads, while cooked chayote can be used in many dishes due to its weak flavor. Chayote is high in vitamin C and and its leaves are used to treat kidney disease and hypertension.

Who uses chayote?

Chayote is only successfully grown in a few southern US states. Americans have been more exposed to the fruit in the 2000s thanks to immigration from Central America and supermarkets stocking less-common fruits and vegetables.

In its native Central America, however, chayote is as common as it has been for centuries.

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