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Aug 29, 2007 03:50 PM

chayote with spines

In my local Mexican Supermercado this weekend I saw some strange spiny things. I asked one of the guys who worked there, and he told me it was chayote. When I looked carefully, I could see that under the spines was something that indeed looked like the chayote I'm used to seeing.

So I guess the question is, is the spiny version different from the smooth variety I'm used to? Are there specific ways the spiny version is prepared?

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  1. I think it tastes more or less the same. In some Latin American countries (El Salvador, for example) chayote is known as huisquil, which comes from the nahuatl words huitztli (spine) and quilitl (grass/plant).

    Has anyone ever tried pickling chayote? I was thinking of trying this...

    1. Taste-wise, identical, just more difficult to peel.

      Never tried pickling it, but I prepared it a zillion ways last year.

      I did find a good-looking recipe for chayote chowder with New Mexican chile ... haven't tried it since I ran out of peppers ... so many recipes, not enough peppers.

      Now I'm a little sorry I performed pre-meditated murder on the chayote plant this year ... but it is just too aggressive a plant and smothers everything else.

      1. It turns out there is white chayote as well (aka güisquil or perulero). This blog has a lot of tips on how it is prepared and a nice photo.

        I had one today and liked it quite a lot. It is a little sweeter than chayote and slightly firmer. It was boiled and then I think briefly fried.

        Here's a good article about chayote in general and some of the different types