Also called: custard marrow, vegetable pear, mirliton
French: chaïote, christophine or brionne in the Caribbean,
chou-chou, chouchou, chouchoute in Madagascar and French Polynesia
Origin: Southern Mexico and central America
Etymology: from the Aztec chayotl
The chayote, a climbing plant originally from Mexico, belongs to the cucurbitaceae family, like its cousins the pumpkin and squash. The chayote is shaped like a big pear and contains a single large pit. Its white or light green skin is covered by long furrows and sometimes a few soft spines, or at least will be smooth or rough depending on the variety.
The French West Indian name “christophine” comes from Christopher Columbus who brought it back from Central America. “Cho cho” may be a Pidgin English derivation of chayote.
The chayote’s firm white flesh has a delicate flavour reminiscent of zucchini.
There is only 3 varieties
- pale green
- smaller with yellow flesh
- dark green hairy chayote
Hints & Tips