What is a Chayote or Mirliton?
Can you believe that Chayote is considered a fruit? It is an edible fruit that can be eaten raw and cooked. Chayote, pronounced [chah-YOH-teh], is known by many names: chocho, Choko, christophene, christophine, mirliton, and many other names.
Sometimes referred to as a vegetable pear, its squash-like fruit has a slightly crisp texture similar to an apple and has a mild flavor revived with fresh cooking herbs. It is seen in two forms, smooth and prickly. Chayote is very common in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and United States.
How to eat chayote or Mirliton
With a delicate taste and soft skin, chayote produces a juice that some people may be slightly sensitive to when peeling. It is recommended to peel in water or cooking before peeling, making the skin less irritant. This marvelous fruit comes in various shapes and colors depending on when it is harvested and its plants. The smooth-skinned variety chayote is the most commonly found. The fruit is edible and primarily utilized in many culinary ways.
Raw sliced thin or shredded in green and chopped salads is used to give a delicate and crunchy texture. It is also cooked, roasted with herbs and spices as the main ingredient or added to soups, stews, curries, legumes, or eaten grilled.
It is commonly added to stews and legumes in the Caribbean and Latin America. There are many baking recipes as well as roasting. But the most known recipes are roasted and stew. Chayote can also be fried when dipped in flour mixture but is not quite as delicious when roasted or in stews, legumes, or baked.
Before cooking with the fruit, you should know it has high water content. It is recommended to decrease any water added to your dish before pan roasting or baking to reduce its water content. It is high in potassium, magnesium, and folate and contains vitamin C and B-6, a superfood that should be part of your diet, either in a salad, soups, stews, baked, grilled or roasted.
It is always beneficial to try consuming fruits or vegetables that are full of vitamins and contain several health benefits. Cooking with this excellent fruit can be very elevating. Because of its mild flavor, when stuffed with cheese or baked and combined with cheese and other ingredients such as ham, sausage, or other meat, the dish is exquisite such as my recipe for Chayote au Gratin or Roasted Chayote.