When we were in New Caledonia recently, a generous hostess who was an excellent cook sang the praises of a fruit that we eventually figured out was the humble choko. I’m sorry I’ve forgotten the French, and my translating app is no help. We were delighted to tell her we knew a lot about chokoes, that once they had festooned many outside lavatories in suburban Sydney and elsewhere, but now suburban choko vines were largely a thing of the past.

Imagine my pleasure when I was walking the dog in an unfamiliar lane and saw this:

choko vine

Hundreds of them, ripe for the picking. I sent a photo to my New Caledonian friend. The next day in the supermarket a couple of hundred yards from the vine, I saw this:chokos2

It makes you wonder how much else is there for the taking all around us that someone has convinced us to pay good money for.

8 responses to “Chokoes

  1. Sad, but true, Jonathan. Only yesterday I passed an unlocked car in the street. Nearly new. Nobody using it. Just going to waste. Recommended retail price $29,900…


  2. Chayote – a vegetable/fruit (?) eaten in the Caribbean and Australia/NZ. From the Spanish “chocho”. My Granny (and many others) used it to make apple pies!


  3. I followed your advice re translation app. etc. Not a word I knew in French before either. You take all your readers on such interesting pathways!


  4. I’d never heard of these in NZ, and I’ve never tasted them in Aus. Aren’t they a rather tasteless, watery fruit that needs something else to give it flavour? I always imagined it more as an extender than as a fruit on its own.
    We had a neighbour a few years back who we always referred to as ‘Choko’: He was always hanging over the fence and was hard to get rid of.


    • That’s them, M-H. They were used in apple pies because they had the right texture, and with enough sugar they tasted a bit like apple. That’s why I was surprised to hear a fine French (actually Belgian) cook singing their praises, and to see them actually for sale in the supermarket


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