Monday, May 10, 2010

Choko Time

Call me mad, (and some do), but I actually like chokos!  What is a choko, do I hear you ask?
These are my recently picked chokos.

They are what I call a survivor crop.  If the world, as we know it, comes to an end, the humble choko will ramble on where ever it has been planted and will help those who recognise its value survive.  It originally comes from central and southern America and somehow made its way to Australia and much of Asia.  You might also know them as chayote, vegetable pear, mirliton or mango squash.

The choko grows on a vine and fruits in autumn.  I admit it's not an exciting vegetable in may ways - I'd classify it in with zucchini, (courgette) and squash, however with a little assistance it's a great vegetable to add to many meals.

You can even eat the new, young ends of the vine - great for adding into stir fries, though most people stick with the fruit.  Picked small you can eat the entire object, if left to a large size it's best peeled and cored.  Steam them and toss them in hot butter and a little pepper, add them to stir fries and on a special occasion, bake them in a white sauce, sprinkled with grated cheese.

Fancy growing your own?  Find someone with a vine, or buy one at the supermarket.  Plant it under a trellis in spring, mulch it well, water it whilst it establishes and enjoy its growth.  Harvest in autumn and when the vines brown off in winter, cut them all off, mulch over the plant to protect it if you have frosts and watch it shoot all over again the following spring.  They fit into any back yard and are great in a place where you want summer shade and winter sun.

So come on other choko lovers.  What are your favourite recipes?  Add them into the comment section so we can all enjoy them. 

1 comment:

  1. Oooo, I'm all green-eyed with envy - my chokos turned up their tendrils frequently and after last years horror heat I gave up for good lol.

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