Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chokos or Chayote

This summer I grew Chokos (or Chayote) for the first time in years. Melbourne gardeners were once advised to used cold tolerant chokos that had more spines than the commercial ones and I had grown this spiky variety in Melbourne in the past. But this time I simply sprouted some smooth skinned Chokos that appeared in the supermarket briefly in late May/early June 2009. The Choko vines grew quickly on a window sill and were ready for planting in early spring. In the end only one went in the ground. It had to compete with a crazed Queensland Blue Pumpkin vine for several months but once the pumpkin burnt out the Choko became the dominant creeper on the fence. Tiny Chokos are only now just appearing but meanwhile I have been eating the young shoots raw and in stir-frys. And they are a revelation! They are nutty and mild and really delicious. The Choko fruits I remember as being a useful filler but not too exciting, so although I'm looking forward to having them, I will grow Chokos from now on for the shoots alone. The next step will be to try the roots which are also meant to be tasty.

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