People adore huitlacoche (aka corn smut)—it’s a delicacy below in the states (and appropriately sometimes called corn truffles) and it has actually been eaten and also cooked through in Mexico since the Aztecs. Follow to Andrew Zimmern and Tory Miller, pan of oft-maligned, eyebrow-raising ingredients, “Huitlacoche is good because it mixes the delicious spices of sweet corn and also mushrooms in a singular, unique, and also wonderfully funky ingredient.

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That sounds delicious, therefore we’ve been hunting for fresh smut for some time. We referred to as farms, do trips to the greenmarket, asked chefs and also cheffy friends, and also came up empty-handed. It to be a dried season, anyone was informing us—not quite wet enough for the fungus to really prosper (and us were looking at the finish of corn season).

Is that peekabooing, infant huitlacoche ~ above the tip?


But then: us were shucking part corn because that the corn pudding us were making for Ruth Reichl when everything came to a halt. Huitlacoche! Here the was, a rare specimen.

We blame our thoughtlessness on ours enthusiasm and also curiosity. Luckily, us didn’t offer this "corn smut" to Ruth Reichl (though she did cite that some huitlacoche would certainly be great on the matzo brei). We acquired smart. All corn fungus isn’t huitlacoche. If you uncover a small black bit on your cob of corn indigenous the market, it can be huitlacoche, yet it really well can not be. So don’t hazard it. Please.

Left: execute not eat. Right: Eat.


We’re already getting prepared for our new huitlacoche hunt for next year. We request Andrew Zimmern and Tory Miller to give us some pointers therefore we prevent eating negative mold. 

Let"s find out together:

How deserve to you differentiate huitlacoche from various other corn fungus?

Huitlacoche is the an outcome of a fungus (Ustilago maydis) that attacks corn. You"ll see large blue black blisters or "galls" in between the corn kernels. 

Where deserve to you discover huitlacoche?

The best method to uncover fresh huitlacoche is to either pursue it in great Mexican markets or to develop a connection with a farmer who is familiar with it and also will intentionally inoculate several of his or she corn crop to produce it. Fortunately, it freezes nice well, so if you are able to find fresh huitlacoche, buy extra. There are likewise many outlets online offering frozen huitlacoche or "corn truffles" as it has started to be called. Frozen is in reality still nice tasty, yet DO not buy the box stuff; it’s a bad substitute. 


just how do friend eat it?

Prep that first: Once you have your huitlacoche, if it"s quiet on the ear, you have actually to very closely remove it from the cob. It should still be a dark shade of blue. If it"s too black, possibilities are it"s previous its prime. Utilizing fish tweezers works well come pluck castle off. When removed, you have the right to freeze lock if you have a lot, or you deserve to just start food preparation them appropriate away. 

Keep that classic: among the standard preparations of huitlacoche is to sauté it through garlic, onions, tomato, and perhaps part poblano chilies and also finish it v epazote. This variation is usually uncovered as a pour it until it is full in a tacos or tamales. It could be used as a garnish for a soup, cooking in one omelet, puréed with eggs and also cream and made right into a custard, or puréed and thinned through a little of share to produce a sauce. An additional popular dish is to chef the huitlacoche through chorizo, serrano chilies, onions, garlic, and shrimp and finish it v a piquant salsa.

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Keep it funky: Think around using it in the same means you would a mushroom—sautéed in butter v shallots, garlic, and also fresh thyme or added to soups because that a little added funk flavor. A favorite is a quesadilla with squash blossoms and charred onions and huitlacoche.