Article by: Hari Yellina
One of those vegetables that people either adore or detest. And, this central American vegetable is making a reappearance on Maitland dinner plates, whether you name it the choko, like we do in Australia, or chayote, mirliton, pipinola, and gisquil – like they do in other parts of the world. Austin Breiner, a farmer from the south coast of New South Wales, is astonished by the town’s extraordinary resurrection. He recalled eating boiling choko repeatedly as a child and remarked on how tasteless it was. He claims that nowadays, people must be using it in tastier ways.
What can therefore be done with a choko? In a stir-fry, roasted with salt and pepper, fried with jam and bacon, or even made into soup, it works wonderfully. You may prepare your own own choko soup using four chokos, a leek, some chicken stock, and a few other things. The fact that people are once again interested in them is good, according to Mr. Breiner. People were clamouring for them, and when I ran out, they would approach me and enquire if I had any more. They sold so quickly that I couldn’t believe it. The surge in popularity of choko consumption is welcome.
The vines didn’t do much during the drought, but this year they have had perfect conditions with access to all the nutrients and water they need to completely take over the backyard. Strong crops have been produced throughout the city, and now that chokos are beginning to shoot their own vines, there has never been a better moment to plant a vine. The vine grew swiftly and provided a considerable crop at the Breiner farm. But as soon as he picked them all up after that, nothing else grew. This year, he claimed, “They’ve been a one hit wonder. They came on, I harvested them all, and then the vine withered back. “Laurel [his wife] was asking me for them and I went out and looked and looked but there wasn’t any more growing.”