Team Honduras

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chayote.....what is this funny green thing..............

   When we moved here to Costa Rica we saw a funny looking green fruit/veggie that we had never seen before. It is similiar to a pear in shape and texture but yet also kind of has a taste like a seedless cucumber. This veggie/fruit that belongs to the squash/gourd family is very cheap here. We noticed that it really has no flavor, but can take on any flavor that you add to it. They use it alot here in soups and stir-frys and such. Some people even half them and stuff them with meat and cheese and cook them until the chayote is tender.

chayote root
We have become fond of it because it can be a "filler" food and again is cheap and takes on the taste of anything that you cook it in or with. When I say cheap....I can get 4 for around 200 colones or 50 cent and no that is not each that is total.  However, we recently learned that the root of the chayote plant is a special treat and a very expensive one at that. A kilo or 2.2lbs of chayote root sell for 3,000 colones.....that is $6 a kilo. However, joking with the vender in the feria a few weeks ago about this "special find" and how good it was he proclaimed...we decided to buy a 1/2 kilo just to see what all the fuss was about. When we asked a bunch of different people they all came back with the same answer...."este es muy rico" is so good....and they boil it then slice it or cube it and fold it into scrambled eggs. Others said that you can slice it and fry it like guess which one we did? We chose to slice and fry. I actually liked it but to me it was no different than a potato...maybe a little sweeter. Mark did not really care for it. However, then we wanted to see what the fuss was about why it was so expensive if it was so similiar to a potato. Well, you see a chayote plant may or may not have roots that are big enough to cut. What I mean is it needs to be as big around or bigger than a softball. This process could also take up to 2 years or more. So, once they cut the root of the plant.....there it more chayote.

On another note, I love to cook and well, I watch t.v. shows and pay close attention to the produce in the grocery store. However, when we were home for Christmas we were down at Mark's parents house in Surf City, N.C. and as we were loading up on flamming hot cheetos and chex mix.  I looked over and saw what I thought was a chayote. I turned around and sure enough...I had to show Mark....not only did a little grocery store at the beach(of all places) have chayote but they were like $3 each. To me I was just blown out of the water.

My favorite thing to do with this new favorite very inexpensive veggie/fruit is to cook it like yellow summer squash. I cook 2 slices of bacon in a pan and then remove it and add in 3-4 peeled and chopped chayote along with 1/2 an onion diced. Cover and let it steam cook. Stirring occassionally. Once it is tender, i season with salt and pepper and then add in 1 tbsp of brown sugar and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. reminds me of living in N.C. and picking fresh squash from the garden.

This was just a fun little peice of info for you to learn about the local produce that we have here in Costa Rica and will have in Honduras.

1 comment:

  1. I must say the one thing you do allot of while there - - is some AMAZING cooking. Sounds great the george