Ingredient of the Week: Chayote

What is it? This squash with an ugly mug is used widely in Central and South American cuisine. It has a very mild flavor, starchy flesh and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Fun fact: In Australia, the chayote is known as choko. It was rumored that chokos were used in place of apples in the Aussie version of McDonald's apple pies. That wasn't true, but you get the idea of the texture of cooked chayote.

What is it used for? Chayote is used in salads when raw and is also boiled, roasted, fried and pickled. All the parts of the plant are eaten throughout several cultures - the root, the leaves, the fruit (which is the chayote), the shoots and even the seeds and skin are edible.

Where can you buy it in Houston? This one was found at Canino Produce Farmers Market on Airline, but chayotes are available across the city at Latin markets and specialty grocery stores.

Recipe: Chayote with Tomato and Green Chile: courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com.

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