Mucho gusto, Chayote.

I recently crossed paths with the chayote for the first time in my local Mexican market.  Instant intrigue.  ‘What is this cactus fruit?’  I thought, ‘And why does the other one look like a butt crack?”  It was an impulse buy.

Does that not belong on the rim of a cocktail?

I have to admit, I was too intimidated to touch them for the next few days – in no small part because handling the spiky one really hurt.  Eventually, I asked my friend, Humberto (one of the most talented cooks I know), what to do with them.  He suggested boiling them, peeling them, and sprinkling them with salt.

I ended up grilling them (sorry, man)  and they turned out really good.  They taste a lot like zucchini – fresh, simple squash – but with a little more moisture.  I seasoned it with some salt, pepper, and lime and served it with halibut.  Good stuff.

Chayotes aren’t the most flavorful veggies out there, but they’re a really nice vehicle for other elements to shine.  Plus, the spikes add an element that the squash family severely lacks – danger.  They alone make it an awesome tool for adding life to dishes (or to garnish a sick cocktail).  We’ll meet again, chayote.  We’ll meet again.

Gracias, chayote.

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One comment on “Mucho gusto, Chayote.

  1. JR says:

    I’ve never really understood the culinary appeal of chayotes, but you’ve framed your argument in a new and intriguing way. So I’ll give them another try and let you know if I become a believer. JR

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