Friday, January 30, 2009

My People Call It Maize

Actually it’s called a chayote. Mother Earth News has a 4 page history of the chayote that I highly recommend. My knowledge of this fruit has been kicked down from my mama and grandma. Grams can grow anything and everything and sometimes even the illegal but I won’t go there.

Mother Earth say, “by February it (seed sprout) should be approximately six inches long” and Mother Earth is right! My seedling is ready to be planted however the challenge is going to be finding a spot where this hefty vine can grow. It’s a climber and can grow up to 30 feet; ah what?! Chayote needs a long growing season; by October fruit should be ready for harvest.

Chayote is a mandatory ingredient in caldo (or caldo de res) and for my non-Spanish speaking friends, beef stew. However I enjoy it roasted or in veggie enchiladas. Cook it like you would any squash or substitute chayote for any recipe calling for squash.

I picked up my seed at Henry’s (Costa Mesa, CA). If you’ve got the space, grow this unique fruit and let’s swap recipes in October!

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