chayoteIt has been called a “Pear Squash” or “Vegetable Pear” because of its shape, but the Chayote more like a zucchini because of its mild flavor. The Chayote grows on a cucumber-like climbing vine and is a warm season or tropical winter crop. Available year round, its peak season runs from September through May.

The Chayote resembles a pale green pear in both color and shape. Its crisp white flesh has a mile flavor that has been described as a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber with a tart hint of apple. A Chayote can grow as long as 6 inches and usually weighs 6 ounces to 2 pounds.

Native to Mexico, it is also grown in Central America, New Zealand and the United States. The leading U.S. producers are California, Florida and Louisiana. The Chayote is low in calories (about 40 per cup), cholesterol free, high in vitamin C, low in sodium and is a good source of fiber.

So if you’re looking for something different to put on your table for dinner, replace the usual squash type foods with Chayote. You won’t be disappointed.

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