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.