Chayote (pronounced: chah-YOH-teh) is in the Cucurbitaceae family, same as melons, cucumber, gourds, and squash. Its fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and the leaves and shoots are edible as well.
Here in Southern California it grows as a perennial. It has a vigorous vine that can grow to 30 ft making it perfect for chained link fences or some other form of trellis
To grow chayote in your garden the first thing you want to do is go to the market and purchase a few. Here in Los Angeles they can be found at many Hispanic markets (chayotes are native to Mexico). Leave them in a warm sunny place like a windowsill or countertop and wait for the seed to germinate, which can take approximately 4 weeks.
Once the stem appears, which will be from the larger fat end, plant it in a container (or in the ground) covering the entire fruit.
For more information see Chayote (Sechium edule) from hort.purdue.edu
For Chayote recipes see this nice collection from cdkitchen.com