Chayote. Custard marrow. A Central American food plant, it is a bulbous, pear-shaped gourd which grows on a vine, with pale green, ridged skin and about the size of an avocado. It is a bland vegetable, somewhat like a cucumber in flavour, with a little spice when fresh. It should be treated in the same way as vegetable marrow or aubergine (US: eggplant) and, like them, should be cooked before eating. In Mexico it is often diced or sliced and then steamed or poached, after which it is added to soups or salads, though it may be served as an accompaniment to meat dishes or as a dessert. Leaves and shoots are also edible when young.