In Guadeloupe Archipelago, there is a wide variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and roots vegetables. In today’s blog post, we are going to focus on the Chayote.
Chayote: Origin and description
Also known as Cho-cho, Pear squash or Christophine in Guadeloupe Archipelago, Chayote is native to Mexico. Nowadays, it is cultivated in warm climates countries or islands such as Guadeloupe Archipelago. As an edible plant, Chayote belongs to the Cucurbitaceae gourd family, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.
Chayote is a light green, pear-shaped fruit with pale cucumber-like flesh that surrounds a single seed, ranging from 10 to 20 cm in length. The flesh has a fairly bland taste, and a texture which is described as a cross between a potato and a cucumber.
Although it is technically a fruit, Chayote is often used more like a vegetable. You can boil, mash, bake or fry it.
In Guadeloupe Archipelago, the most popular ways to enjoy it are raw in a fresh salad or bake as a gratin called Gratin de Christophine. This gratin is a cheesy and succulent traditional dish quite famous in the Creole cuisine.
If you want to enjoy the fruit as a snack, you can lightly marinate it with lime or lemon juice and salt.
From the skin to the flesh, seeds, leaves, flowers, and roots, you will definitely appreciate this versatile plant. For instance, the roots work just like potatoes in all kinds of dishes. You can also add the leaves to your salads or cook them like spring greens.
Nutritional Content & Health benefits
Chayotes have a high water content and are relatively low in natural sugars and calories. In addition to that, the chayote is a rich source of antioxidants, copper, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.
The fruit is also a good source of vitamin C which is excellent for boosting the immune system. The B vitamins B1, B2 and B6 that the fruit contains play an important role to speed up the metabolism.