For those of you not living in either California, Florida, Louisiana or Latin America, you may not be familiar with a merliton. Perhaps the names, chayote, vegetable pear, mango squash, cho-cho, xuxu or christophene ring a bell. They all refer to this versatile gourd-like vegetable that is grown around the world and called by various names. Historically, it was a primary food of the Aztecs and Mayas.
What Exactly is a Merliton?
A merilton is an edible plant of the Curcurbitaceae (gourd) family along with melons, cucumbers and squash. It is grown on a vine. It looks like a light green large pear, similar in color to a Granny Smith apple. The inside is a lighter color with a soft large seed.
A merliton can be fixed in as many ways as a sweet potato. It can be stuffed, fried, bake, mashed, creamed, pickled and buttered. The filling makes a great custard pie. It can be eaten raw and served cold in salads. It makes a great tasting soup and merliton fritters are a popular substitute…