Chayote(Sechium edule) is a plant unrelated to pears but produces fruits that look like pear fruit but with a wrinkly surface.
It is also known as vegetable pear, mirliton, or chocho.
It is a plant belonging to the family cucurbitaceae and is closely related to squashes, cucumbers, and melons.
Chayote grows as a crawling vine. This plant is native to Mexico and is grown in several places all over the world especially in tropical and subtropical regions.
The edible parts of this plant include the fruits, stems, seed, leaves, and tubers.
The fruits have a taste similar to cucumber and are used in dishes just like a vegetable, and they are therefore categorized as a vegetable in a culinary sense
They are mostly cooked but could also be used raw in salads.
Chayote fruit description
The chayote fruits are bright green fruits that are pear-shaped.
They are about 10cm to 20 cm in length, and they have a wrinkled surface.
The fruits contain a single flattened seed which is also edible.
Their taste is similar to cucumbers, and they are used in dishes like vegetables. They could be boiled, baked, or fried.
Fruits vs. vegetable
We define edible plants as fruits or vegetables based on their botanical and culinary descriptions.
Botanically, a fruit is a plant part that develops from a flower and has seeds.
The other parts of the plants which include roots, stems, and leaves are botanically vegetables.
However, in culinary terms, fruits are known for their sweet taste while vegetables are savory.
Confusion often arises when the botanical and culinary classification of particular plant foods are contrasting.
This is particularly common in botanical fruits which are used more as vegetables. Popular examples of these fruits include tomatoes.
The pear-shaped and wrinkled fruits of the chayote plant develop from flowers and are therefore botanically categorized as fruits.
However, because of the bland taste of these fruits, they are used like vegetables in dishes where they are boiled, baked, or fried.
The nutritional profile of chayote is impressive.
It is very low in calories. A 100 g serving of chayote contains only about 19 calories.
Chayote is rich in folate and supplies fiber, proteins, vitamins B6, C and minerals such as potassium.
How chayote is used
Chayote is used as a vegetable in dishes
It could be used in a variety of ways to make different dishes.
Chayote could be fried, roasted, steamed, or boiled.
This fruit could be used raw in a salad or cooked to make other dishes such as soups where it lends its mild flavor to make a savory dish.
The seeds are also edible when cooked.
The chayote is a plant with fruits that look like a pear but tastes like a cucumber.
They are used as culinary vegetables in foods, and they can be used in salads or for making soups or stews because of the mild flavor that they have.
The chayote fruit is a very nutritious fruit, it is rich in folate and low in calories.