Food and Cooking Gardening and Food Production

Plant a choko

  • June 2, 2014
  • 2 min read

Chokoes are a prolific vegetable that grow on a rampant vine. It will spread down fences and up trees. It’s really easy to grow
Plant a sprouting choko directly in the ground in warm areas, or in a pot in cold areas and plant out in spring. Half-bury the choko, leaving the shoot above the ground. Chokoes showing small white roots are more likely to grow than those with only green shoots emerging.
In temperate areas, the vine will die back in winter. The young fruits are edible whole; the mature fruits are edible but you will need to peel and maybe de-seed them, depending on the variety; the shoots are edible (eat them while they’re thick and young); and the roots are edible but I haven’t tried those. They come in different sizes, range from green to yellow to white, and have smooth skin or spines on the fruit. Smooth skinned varieties are easier to peel.
Use them any way you’d use zucchini. You can also bake or stew them like pear if you add enough sugar or honey. They are quite bland, and good at absorbing flavours in stews and sauces. Use a cooked puree to bulk up cakes and muffins. In our area, they fruit in autumn after the zucchinis slow down. And they fruit prolifically. You’ll be begging your friends to take one or ten.
Look for chokoes at farmer’s markets or produce swaps.

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