When it’s a choo choo… noooo that’s not a Portuguese sneeze!
Feeling rather adventurous during a recent shopping foray to the local farmers’ market, I stepped outside my cautious ‘foodie’ comfort zone and decided to experiment with some, shall we say… some of the more weird and wonderful vegetable offerings they had on sale. As I looked beyond the usual staple veg such as cabbage, onions and potatoes an ugly misshapen green shrek-like pear piqued my curiosity.
(No, my curiosity and adventurous spirit still does not extend to sampling the “unmentionables”!)
On closer inspection of shrek-pear and still none the wiser the stallholder, no doubt sensing my curiosity and/or ignorance, proceeded to explain it was called a “cho choo” and a vegetable similar to a potato.
I thought my hearing deceived me: ” choo choo?” I repeated.
“Sim.” She even said train in English, and then accentuated the word “Choo Choo”, by way of verbal demonstration to make sure I’d understood before she proceeded to instruct me on how to cook them. Interesting, because I would have put shrek in the fruit bowl waiting for it to ripen. ‘It’ certainly looked more fruit like rather than vegetable to me.
I’m sure my body-language still oozed caution so she generously gave me one to try.
Once home I tried to Google the name without success. In for a penny in for a pound, as they say, so that night I cut the beast in half and roasted it in the oven complete with skin; it tasted delicious. Mr. Piglet, however, was having none of it and with jaws clamped firmly shut he flatly refused to taste even the tiniest morsel. Men!
Folks, if you’ve never tried a Chochoo or whatever it’s called in your country, trust me they are delicious.
My next visit to a supermarket revealed the true name “chuchu’ which, after consulting Mr Google, is its Brazilian name and chuchu led me to Wikipedia which offered several names including Chayote.
Next week I will return to the market to buy some “ChuChu” but in the meantime if anyone has some recipe suggestions, please share them below.