They grow on a climbing plant and look a bit like a pear. Some varieties have spines, while others are spineless.

Colours range from green to ivory white. Chokos have a very mild flavour, often compared to marrow, so they are usually cooked with other stronger tasting foods. Choko shoots are sometimes used in Asian cooking.

Look for firm, even-coloured chokos which are 10-15 cm long and are not too deeply wrinkled. Sometimes smaller chokos, around 5 cm long are available. Large whiter coloured chokos indicate older fruit.

Choko halves can be stuffed. They can be diced, cooked and served with a sauce, stir fried, and added to braises or stews. They can be used in fruit and vegetable salads, and in desserts, tarts, breads, jams or cakes. Chokos can be pickled or used as a base for relishes.