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Chow chow or as commonly known as chayote is an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The vine is grown on the ground or more commonly on trellises. Chow chow was first domesticated in Mexico, where the fruit is used in both raw and cooked forms. In the most common variety, the fruit is roughly pear or apple shaped, somewhat flattened and with coarse wrinkles, ranging from 10 to 20 cm in length. It looks like a green pear and it has a thin green skin fused with the white flesh, and a single large flattened pip. The flesh has a fairly bland taste, and a texture described as a cross between a potato and a cucumber. Although generally discarded, the seed has a nutty flavour and may be eaten as part of the fruit. When cooked, the vegetable is usually handled like summer squash, and it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crisp flavour.
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