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What Is Huitlacoche?

Definition: Corn Smut

Also known as Mexican corn truffle, maize mushroom, huitlacoche, and cuitlacoche, corn smut is a gray fungus that attacks ears of corn, causing kernels to swell dramatically in size.

Farmers view the growth as a plague that destroys corn crops, but in Mexico, corn smut has been a prized delicacy for centuries, dating back to the time of the Aztecs. Huitlacoche commands high prices for its earthy, smoky flavor, which is often described as a cross between that of mushrooms and corn.

Corn smut is sold canned, frozen, or fresh during corn harvest and is used to enhance everything from soups and stews to sautés and quesadillas.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
amandaaa amandaaa 7 years
looks gross haha!
Food Food 7 years
Did anyone see Bobby Flay cooking with it on Iron Chef America Battle Corn last night? It looked delish.
caramelqtee75 caramelqtee75 7 years
It's an abomination!!
chancleta chancleta 7 years
While it's kinda scary and repulsive in appearance I'm impressed that they've found a way to turn this anomaly in to a delicacy and money maker. Good for them.
miamixo miamixo 7 years
It looks scary.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Funny story...when my husband and I were dating, he took me to visit his parents' farm and we went out to the garden area to pick sweet corn. My husband told me to make sure we didn't pick the ones with corn smut. I was like, what IS corn smut?? He picked an ear, ripped back the husk and I saw this nasty, lumpy stuff all over the corn and he was like "Mmm, CORN SMUT!" It really, REALLY grossed me out. But then I learned that people eat it in Mexico and I guess it's probably either similar to or the same as eating a mushroom. It just looks really gross, that's all.
sandia sandia 7 years
YUM! :) ...and maybe we should be a bit more open-minded *ahem* and actually try something before labeling it "repulsive".
zacatecanita zacatecanita 7 years
Huitlacoche Huaraches are so Yummy! Funny Story Fuzzles...LOL
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
Disregard! I just reread the post and saw the other name! *shaking head*
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
Where do you find this stuff, Yum? I just called a local Mexican market to ask if this was a product that they carry. The woman that I talked to evidently thought that she was on the receiving end of a kinky phone call after I said the word "smut" and she started screaming at me in Spanish. Now, my Spanish is a little rusty, but I'm pretty sure that she called me an asshole. In retrospect, she probably thought that I was inquiring about "porn smut." *sigh* Is there another name that this stuff goes by? I was planning on trying to find this by foot over the weekend, but now fear a potential ass kicking if I do!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
That looks repulsive. What in the world. But then again, mushrooms are the same, hm.
elsita elsita 7 years
Yummm... I love quesadillas con huitlacoche :P ....
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