Chayote (Sechium edule) (pronounced chy-O-tay) is also known mirliton, vegetable pear, sapote, huisquil, mango squash, pear squash, and custard marrow. It is a member of the Curcurbitaceae (Gourd) Family. It has a flavor considered a blend of apple and cucumber. It was originally cultivated in Central America by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. The female fruit is smooth skinned, lumpy with small ridges. It is considered more delectable than the male fruit, which is covered with wart-like spines.
Chayote is high in vitamin C. Look for unblemished skin with an ivory white to dark green color. Store in a dry cool place. The refrigerator is considered too cold. Chayote can be substituted for summer squashes in most recipes, however it is best peeled (if large) and the large seeds composted. The peel of young tender fruits is edible. Avoid wet, bruised or soft fruits. They can be enjoyed raw, sliced, used for dips, grated into salads, pureed or added to soups. The young root tubers are also eaten.