The Q&A Archives: Source for Jamaican Vegetable

Question: While in Jamaica I have become familiar with a vegetable they commonly call Chocho. It is a round, green, fleshy, squash-like vegetable with a very mild flavor. Is it available in the US, or can I obtain seeds for it here in the US?

Answer: This plant is more commonly called Chayote squash, though it is also known as "chuchu", "vegetable pear" and "mirliton" A tropical relative of summer squash (botanical name Sechium edule) the plant produces smooth-skinned, ivory to green fruits. The skin is edible when cooked, but is often peeled off because it can be quite tough.

Chayote is native to parts of Mexico and Central America; it is also commonly grown in Callifornia and throughout the south. It can be grown as far north as USDA zone 7B.

There is an article about chayote in the March/April 1995 issue of National Gardening. You can purchase seeds for this unusual vegetable from Southern Seeds, PO Box 803, Lutz, FL 33548.

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