Apples, Pears and Chayote!
Years ago, my Mother gave me her cookbooks and among them was a cookbook published in 1944.
It was called the Wartime Edition of the Victory (binding of the American Woman’s) Cookbook.
The cookbook shows a lot of wear and tear and is in fact held together by duck tape.
I mean duck tape fixes everything doesn’t it?
I can remember my mother searching through this thick olive green book in search of recipes all through my childhood.
When I glance through this cookbook, I am always finding recipes, tips and hints that I have never heard about before.
Here is an interesting page on the automatic freezer and automatic refrigerator!
So today, I flipped to the back of the cookbook because I remembered a Triple Lemon Pie recipe that my Mother had hand written into the back page. She had made this recipe many, many times and I thought I might make it too.
I love this recipe because it is written in my mother’s familiar handwriting….I loved her handwriting.
It gives me a warm feeling to run my fingers over the recipe knowing she had not only made this recipe, she spilled stuff on it too.
But as I was feeling a closeness to my mother, something…another recipe, caught my eye. Chayote!
The name of the recipe was Chayote!
Now I have to admit the recipe above the Chayote recipe would catch anyone’s eye too.
Carrots Baked in Sauerkraut Juice? Ahhhh yes! NOT!!!
At least not on this day.
But I focused on the Chayote.
Just what is Chayote?
My thoughts ran wild…I needed to look up this veggie?… so off to the internet.
The Chayote sorta looks like a pear but tastes more like a tasteless apple or so they say.
I will have to take their word for it.
According to freelance writer/editor. about.me/dannosowitz:
“Imagine a vegetable that is handheld, and very tough, which makes it easy to ship. It is versatile, used in cuisines from Mexican to Indonesian to south Indian to Australian to Louisiana. The entire vegetable is edible — skin, flesh, seeds, shoots, leaves, flowers, and roots. It can be eaten raw or steamed, boiled, baked, stuffed, fried, and marinated. It is quite good for you, and is high in vitamin C, folate, fiber, and various trace minerals. This vegetable is the chayote, and basically nobody likes it….given the right circumstances, it grows like a crazy weed and produces a huge amount of edible fruit (the squash/melon/gourd family members are all botanically fruits, not vegetables).”
I then focused on Wikipedia:
“In Australia, where the Chayote is called choko, a persistent urban legend is that McDonald’s apple pies were made of chayotes, not apples. This eventually led McDonald’s to emphasize the fact that real apples are used in their pies. This legend was based on an earlier belief that tinned pears were often disguised chayotes. A possible explanation for the rumor is that there are a number of recipes in Australia that advise chayotes can be used in part replacement of canned apples to make the fruit go farther in making apple pies. This likely arose because of the economies of “mock” food substitutes during the Depression Era, shortages of canned fruit in the years following World War II, and the fact apples do not grow in many tropical and subtropical parts of Australia, making them scarce. Chayotes, on the other hand, grow extensively in Australia, with many suburban backyards featuring chayote vines growing along their fence lines.
Another possible reason for the rumor of McDonald’s apple pies containing chayotes was that it was thought that apples would degenerate and become soggy and inedible in a McDonald’s pie, whereas chayotes are well known to retain their firmness and consistency after cooking, freezing, and reheating. It was thought that the “chunks” of apple in the pie were in fact chunks of chayote, and the sauce and filling were simply a spiced, apple-flavored concoction.
Hmmmmmmm. I have heard a lot about McDonald hamburgers, but I have to admit this is a new one for me.
And apparently, there is a Chayote spiny version:
Aaaah…ok! I think I will pass on this veggie?
OK, dear readers, have any of you heard of Chayote? And more importantly, have you ever eaten Chayote?
I would love to hear from you if you have.
Until then, I think I will just make the Triple Lemon Pie recipe.
Blessings to all!