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White Chayote Squash
Inventory, lb : 0
This item was last sold on : 05/20/16
The White chayote is a stark white compared to the lime green conventional chayote. It is shaped a bit like a pear but slightly larger with deep indentations that meet at is flower end. Its skin is smooth with subtle creasing. Some varieties of White chayote have spines on their skin, similar to that of the prickly chayote. Beneath the skin of the pale summer squash lies a mild white flesh and a solitary soft seed. White chayote borrows flavors from fellow members of the gourd family, mild and fresh similar to that of zucchini and cucumbers.
White chayote squash has a peak season in the fall and occasionally late spring.
The White chayote squash, botanically known as Sechium edule, is a perennial squash and a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. The White chayote variety is extremely rare and is thought to be the result of a recessive gene or mutation. The entire chayote plant is edible including its fruit, seed, vines, blossoms and root. Though not a commercially successful variety White chayote squash can be found growing today in the United States in Louisiana.
White chayote squash is very low in calories, void of cholesterol and high in dietary fiber, a combination which makes them ideal for those on weight control or cholesterol lowering diets. It also is rich in B- complex folates and vitamin C and offer some potassium and antioxidants as well.
White chayote can be used in both raw and cooked applications. It can be utilized as a substitute for potatoes, cucumbers and squash. Raw chayote can be shredded or sliced thin and added to salads and slaws. The texture of the pear-shaped squash works well in soups, curries and gumbos. Cut in half and stuff with seafood or vegetables. To prepare, the skin should be peeled and the flesh rinsed in water to remove the sticky sap exuded when sliced or peeled. The White chayote’s mellow flavor will take on the flavors of any dish. Complimentary textures and flavors include melon, chile peppers, tomatoes, soft and hard cheeses, garlic, almonds, cumin, butter, pork, shellfish and poultry. To store, keep White chayote squash at room temperature and use within two weeks.
In the United States the White chayote is also known as Mirliton and was renamed Ishreal Thibodeaux variety Mirliton in 2013. It was given the name in honor of a man in Louisiana who successfully grew the rare variety for many years and worked hard to revitalize the growth of it and other chayote varieties in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Chayote is believed to have originated in Central America and Mexico and was first cultivated during the time of the Aztec Empire. Though there is no definitive evidence it is believed that the White chayote variety as well as green and prickly all share the same historical origins. In the United States, specifically in the Deep South prior to the 1900’s there were numerous types of chayote squash grown including White chayote. The Civil War devastated much of chayote production in the South and though attempts were made to revitalize it efforts failed except in Louisiana where it has long been a staple in home gardens and an important ingredient in American cookery since the state was founded. Like the green chayote the White chayote vine once established is highly productive and can produce upwards of 50 to 100 chayote fruits per season provided they are given adequate sunlight.
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