A Facebook Mystery Q&A
This blog post, The Very Versatile Vegetable Pear, started as a facebook mystery Q&A. A photograph was held up on her facebook page by a friend, Dawn Leahy, who asked, ‘Could somebody please tell me what this fruit is’?
The Facebook Conversation
Well that started a facebook conversation about what this green produce item was. Guesses and suggestions came in from all around the globe. Recipes also flooded in. The irony was that they were for both fruit and vegetable dishes. Talk about it being versatile. I thought it might be a papaya. It did have a resemblance.
The outsides could be deceptive as they do have a resemblance. But once cut open, there is no mistaking one from the other. In addition, the versatility of the vegetable pear surpases the papaya and many other types of produce. The vegetable pear is known as chayote in Latin America, sayote in the Philippines, choko in Australia and chu chu, elsewhere. It is in the gourd family along with melons and squash. It can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, fried with butter and garlic as well as disguised as apples for apple desserts. These are just a few comments and recipes suggested by facebook and other friends, Myraflor Quinton Sario Atkinson, Marcus Sean Atkinson, Dominique Neuhofer, Nedvon Tree, Allado Janice Lara Nunes and Aaron Aveiro.
History and Nutritional Value of The Vegetable Pear
Thanks to Aaron Aveiro, owner of Aladay Organic Farm, a fact sheet from Google and other resources, I learned about the amazing nutritional value of The Very Versatile Vegetable Pear as well as other fascinating facts.”I found out, too, that these Mexican fruits, which the Aztecs called chayotli, are now widely grown in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. They are known as christophine or mirliton to Caribbeans, chocho to Madeirans, pipinella to Italians, and pipinola to Hawaiians. (The plant’s scientific name is Sechium edule, but most North Americans call them “vegetable pears.”)1
I would like to end this blog post with what is the most exciting discovery about The Versatile Vegetable Pear. Due to its intrinsically bland flavor, it is the idea substitute for higher carb fruits, like apples and can be ideal for mock apple pie and apple crisp. The vegetable pear will absorb the apple juice and make the most delicious dessert. So used as a vegetable or a fruit, this once mystery item is a fantastic, nutritional discovery.
Resource Material and Recipes
Chayote (mirliton) nutrition facts