I was in my local grocery store yesterday shopping for a bunch of fresh veggies. My plan was to cook them all up with some garlic, hot chiles and black bean sauce. Cruising through the aisles, I came across a big display of chayote squash. I’ve never eaten them before but the sign promised me that they are delicious. OK, I’m game. I added one to my cart.
A few minutes later at the checkout, the cashier gives me the look that can only mean, “What the heck are you doing buying obscure stuff I can’t identify, buddy?” Being helpful, I said, “I think it’s a chayote squash.” I spelled it for her. She looks it up in her computer and it isn’t there. I said, “I see, you folks have a huge display of chayote but clearly you have no intention of actually selling any of it.” I get a cold stare back. The guy behind me in line decides to be helpful. “I used to be in the produce business. That’s no chayote. It’s a guava.” I said, “um, they had a whole display over in the veggie section, identifying these as chayotes. They even had cooking instructions.” “No, no, believe me when I say it’s a guava. It’s been 10 years since I was in the business but I know my fruits and vegetables.” Meanwhile, the cashier, ignoring me, has looked up guava in the computer. It’s there. She announces, “Guava is in the computer. This must be a guava.” I know I’m beat, but I protest. “It’s a chayote. You have a whole chayote display happening in the produce section.” “It’s a guava.” “OK, it’s a guava.” At this point, she could call it anything. The line isn’t moving. I was on my way home from work and just want to get out of there.
Let me tell you that it was a chayote, and definitely not a guava. It was pretty good. I chopped it up with the other veggies and added it late in the cooking process so it would retain a crisp texture. I’d characterize it as a mild veggie with a nice texture, and a pleasant addition to my black bean dish.