Also known as a christophine, mirlitine, cho cho and vegetable pear, the chayote is a pale-green, furrowed, pear-shaped fruit with pale cucumber-like flesh that surrounds a single seed.
Chayote are sold in West Indian shops in the UK. Avoid soft or wrinkled fruit.
Treat chayote as a vegetable similar to a courgette. They have a watery texture and delicate flavour, but are often peeled and parboiled before being seeded and cooked further.
Cook chayote with Cajun spices, shellfish such as crawfish or crab, chicken and ham, or cheese. Deep-fry, sauté, bake or stuff chayotes. Use contrasting textures such as breadcrumbs and simple flavour combinations to enhance them in taste. For example, in Cajun cooking, chayotes are blanched, partially hollowed out, bread-crumbed and fried before being stuffed with a creamy crawfish filling, while in the Dominican Republic they’re mixed into chilli-spiced scrambled eggs with tomatoes.