A pear-shaped, summer squash, which is grown in warmer and more tropical climates such as the Caribbean or Mexico. Pale green or white in color with a smooth or prickly skin, the Chayote has a creased rind that is usually peeled, exposing a white inner meat with a single soft, seed in the center. The seed is considered edible by some, but it is not necessarily recommended as one of most enjoyable of edible seeds, so it is best to discard unless particularly fond of this part of the Chayote. Somewhat similar to zucchini, the meat of this squash has a firmer texture than zucchini and provides a mildly sweet flavor. The chayote's mild tasting contents make it a versatile vegetable to be boiled, fried, sautéed, or steamed for use in soups, as a stuffed squash, in stir-fried dishes, or served in salads. Chayote can also be eaten as a hot vegetable topped with butter or grated cheese. It is a common vegetable for use as a garnish when serving fish, such as escoveitch in Jamacia. This variety of squash may also be referred to as Chayota, Chocho, Cho Cho, Christophine, Mirliton, and Vegetable Pear.
Although Chayote squash are available during the entire year, the best time to find them is September through December when they have been freshly harvested. When selecting, choose those that are about 4 to 6 inches long and weigh no more than 4 ounces, with smooth skins that do not have blemishes or soft spots. The white variety of the Chayote is typically a little sweeter and contains slightly less moisture than the green Chayote. This squash will keep for 3 to 4 days when wrapped in plastic and stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.