Fruit or vegetable chayote?
Do you like to try new vegetables? Then try to find a plant that will grow productively in our heat in the summer. One of them is chayote, the fruits of which are very tasty.
The grown vegetables turn out to be surprisingly good, fresh and tasty, much better, in some way, than zucchini or cucumbers: the pulp is dense and buttery, with a light delicate taste and smooth texture, which makes them very versatile in the kitchen.
Its origin is Mexican or American, although this is a secret, because, unlike many other vegetables, no remains of fiber, seeds or peel of the vegetable were found. At the same time, there was a mention of chayote by the Spanish invaders - that the vegetable was consumed by the Aztecs.
© Forest & Kim Starr
Almost the entire plant is used - starchy tuberous parts of the roots (used as potatoes), shoots (as spices), young leaves (spinach substitute or as medicinal tea), chayota vegetables and nutty seeds inside the fruit are appreciated by cooks. They are equally tasty raw or cooked and go well with a nutty, salty, spicy or sour taste. It is especially good to cook them with coconut, lentils, peanuts, tomatoes, hot peppers and citrus fruits. Chayot with grated cheese, sliced in salads, fried in oil, slightly boiled, baked, in the form of candied fruit, salted, cooked in the form of mashed potatoes, mashed potato soup or added to soup or curry, is excellent, it is also good in stew. It is known that tubers fried in olive or vegetable oil have a mushroom flavor, like potatoes with mushrooms.
Chayote will grow best in rich soil. You can use a mixture of manure, humus and garden compost. Plants require powerful support, they need to be watered often. Pinch and tie up the plants as they grow. Chayote is generally perennial, but in a cold climate it is more appropriate to grow it as an annual.
© Forest & Kim Starr
A plant can get a spider mite or powdery mildew. In case of a disease, they are treated with the same means that are usually used for other plants.