Chayote Squash

I have discovered (much like Europeans say they “discovered” North America) a very tasty and intriguing new vegetable – the chayote squash.

Chayote Squash
Chayote Squash

Next to my mother’s home lives a Chinese family and the grandmother from that home is wild about gardening. They have every single inch of their backyard growing some kind of an edible veggie. It really is a site to behold.

The grandmother speaks virtually no English and so when she comes over to my mother’s place they communicate with sign language and smiles.¬†Anyway, the grandmother from across the lane is the one who gave my mother the first chayote we tried. And I will say, it is was delicious!

The chayote is a kind of summer squash typically found in Mexico. It grows on a wild, sprawling vine that will attach itself to anything in a yard. The family across the lane let their chayote grow along the fence between their yard and the neighbouring yard.

You have to peel the squash with a sharp knife or potato peeler and any peel that you leave on the squash, even after cooking, has a strong, bitter flavour. Once peeled though, the chayote squash has a dense, firm texture softer than a potato but but more firm than a cucumber. The flesh holds together very nicely when cooked in one inch cubes in a spaghetti sauce or soup.

The grandmother gave my mother a couple of the chayote squashes and we decided to plant them. They are in buckets of dirt in our climate controlled greenhouse for now. I will update you in the spring when we transfer them to our gardens.