Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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chayote Sechium edule, also called custard marrow, vegetable pear, mirliton (Louisiana), christophine (Trinidad), choko, and many other names, is a fruit of the gourd family which is peculiar in having one large seed.

There are pear shaped and round; light and dark green; smooth and hairy, and knobbly varieties. A common one is pear shaped but larger than a pear, pale green, and longitudinally ridged with ‘knuckles’ at the base so that it looks something like a clenched fist. Its name in the south of China means ‘Buddha’s hand gourd’.