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Thursday, 2 December 2010

Anybody seen one of these before?

Been out walking and foraging today and came across a whole load of these.  They were actually grown behind a fence, but whoever planted them wasn't that bothered about them as they were scattered all over the ground.  One had fallen on the other side of the fence and intrigue I picked it up.  I'm assuming it's edible, but haven't cut it open yet, wanting some idea what to expect, sweet, savoury...?

I couldn't work out whether they had come of those climbing vine-type plants or a low tree.  There was one still hanging in the tree, but it may have been a vine climbing up that tree.  it's extremely prickly and you can see the size on the photo.  There's no discernable smell from the outside.  Anyone of you clever people out there...?  If no-one comes up with anything I'll cut it open tomorrow and show you the insides too.

8 comments:

MikeH said...

Thorn apple? It's bigger than those I've seen before. If it is, you should see black seeds inside. If it is thorn apple, it's poisonous.

Mr. H. said...

If it has one big seed inside perhaps it is a spiny chayote? - http://rozmena.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/spiny-chayote.jpg

Laura said...

It's not a thorn apple is it? If so, don't eat it - very poisonous!

contadina said...

I've seen them for sale in the market and down here they are called spikey aubergines or melanzane spinusi, although it looks as though they are also known as cucuzze spinusi, so I'm guessing somewhere between an aubergine and a courgette. But it's definitely a vegetable which goes by many names, chayote,zucca centeneria and I'm pretty sure I've eaten them when more green in the Caribbean where they were called christophene. Definitely more like a watery zucchini/squash than aubergine for taste and water content. A couple of links, with recipes for you http://bleedingespresso.com/2008/03/whats-cooking-wednesday-calabrian-prickly-zucchini.html
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chayote

Heiko said...

Thanks everyone, Contadina, you hit the nail on the head, although looking at pictures of chayote, it's simliar, but chayote doesn't seem to have the spines.

Laura & Mike H, Italians don't waste space in their gardens to grow poisonous things.

Jan said...

I'm glad others have come up with the answer, because I haven't a clue!

Anonymous said...

Spiny Chayote is it! Also known as mirleton. Check out southern cooking. Bought some yesterday to stuff with shrimp.

Di

Anonymous said...

It is a zucchini. It is from Calabria Italy. I'm not from there but from Greece and my parents used to grown it.At the begging we didn't have trust on it since it wasn't a familiar vegetable. However I have eaten it more than 100 times.
It is more tasty than the regular zucchini, in fact is a bit sweet. You can eat it fried. The plant is very productive, so you can it so much of it and get sick of it. I lost my seeds and I'm try to find some....