Tam Dao Chyote


            Chayote is  pumpkin variety; its leave is s big as two hands put together. It looks like luffa but chayote is lght greener, its body has roots stick closely to the frame; its flower is light yellow. Each stem has some male peduncles and one female peduncle. Its fruit is as big as a fist with a pear form, its skill is lumpy with soft prickle, its big seed is in thin peel. Its fruit is used as a food.


Chayote originates from the tropic America and it was introduced to Viet Nam from beginning of XX century and transplanted in Vinh Phuc province about 100 years back. Though it is the tropical botanical variety, but it is quite suitable to sub-tropical temperature and pedology of Tam Dao so its productivity, quantity is incomparable to any other zone.

If on other place as Tich Son Ward of Vinh Yen City, the chayote only lives in 10 months (from August to September following year) and in Tam Dao it lives double or triple times. Chayote is planted in the first year and to March, April it starts to cut stalks and from May to December people can use its leaves and fruit. Its life time is three and four years when its root becomes old, productivity reduced people start to pull it up and plant new one.

From decades ago, chayote in Tam Dao is as normal as any other varieties. People plant one plant to use for themselves and sell seed to people in the lain region. But from “removal policy”, tourists go to Tam Dao more and more the Tam Dao people created a “special chayote food” by cooking the stalks, fruit with various dishes and tourists enjoy them happily. Tam Dao people also create a new cultivation of chayote: they use duble frame: one for getting fruit and stalk and one only for cutting stalks. For people who has little land, they make use any land to plant chayote. The chayote frame is 2 m wide and less 1 m high. People can stand in between to get stalks or fruit easily. People used to use the smaller frame to reach higher productivity than that of large frame. Chayote is a real clean vegetable meeting the market of all locations.

Cultivation technique is rather scientific. In earlier, people use fresh manure and now every household has compost and use NPK to manure the chayote, without using insect pesticide so it is “100% clean”. Another advantage in Tam Dao is its temperature is always lower than that in other places, some time foggy and high humidity, quite suitable to plants and trees and flowers. When Chayote fruit become old, its seed bud sprouts inner, but the fruit still remain young and soft, not like chayote fruit planted in other places in the plain zone.

From the finest of mountain, Tam Dao people with their “golden hands” created many special dishes from chayote, good eating and interesting.

Bolied Chayote Stalks:

Stalk shall be cut by 8 sections with 4-5 cm long each. Such 8 young sections (about 40 cm) together with some young leaves the wash them; take them out in the basket the boil it as boiling spinach, the boiling time is depending on each people’s like, but normally it deeps into a sauce with same garlic is best.

Fried Chayote Stalks:

Chayote can fry with beef or chicken internal organs; With beef, it should add garlic for flavour. When frying, the beef fries to 40% of ready then we put chayote stalks into the pan; whn frying with chicken internal organs, 60% ready then put chayote stalks. Fish sauce and pure salt. Any way sauce mixed with garlic is best.

Boiled Chayote Fruit: 

Chayote fruit shall be peeled out and deepened into water to loose its resin. Chayote fruit is boiled how to be done to a turn. Eating boiled fruit, we use hand to take pece by piece and deep it into sesame and salt or peanut and salt. It is quite meaty and delicious.

Fried Chayote Fruit:

Peeling out the peel, wash clean, cut thin and fry with chicken egg, beef or chicken internal organs.

Out of this, chayote fruit can cook with pig bone, quite suitable to the elder.

In general speaking, tourist going to Tam Dao is like to taste the “special Chayote”. :Titbit remember for ever” so any tourist when come back from Tam Dao oftem buy chayote stalks or chayote fruit for gift. Some recent years, some merchants go there to trade chayote and sell them in the super market. Only in 2005, Tam Dao people obtained 600 tons of stalks and fruit with revenue of about billions VND. People’s lif is increased and they pay more attention to plant chayote preventing them from catch precious animals in Tam Dao  forest.

Chayote with Tam Dao trade-mark is one of precious varieties in the forest of Vinh Phuc province. It is a special product with high value and it is said to be equal to game delicacy dishes in the eating culture of the country. 

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