Huitlacoche, pronounced weet-la-COH-cheh, is a fungus that grows on ears of corn. It is also known as cuitlacoche, corn smut, and Mexican truffle. It is a plant disease that causes smut –multicellular fungi with many spores – to grow on maize and is a delicacy in Mexico. The fungus affects every part of the corn and causes the kernels to swell up into mushroom-like growths called galls.
Nutrition: Huitlacoche contains high levels of protein, unsaturated fats, and an amino acid known as lysine that strengthens immune systems and bones. It’s a great meat substitute, nutritious addition to any plant-based diet, and a rare biological occurrence. It also deserves to be studied, understood, and respected as an ingredient rather than dismissed as a disease or othered as a mere “exotic” curiosity.
Taste: Huitlacoche, is very similar to other varieties of mushrooms. It has an earthy flavour, combined with the taste of corn it is similar to other mushrooms.
Appearance: An important thing to note is that although huitlacoche looks a greyish colour on the outside, when it is cooked and gets hot, it becomes black. Dishes that contain it usually have a dark hue.
Storage: Like mushrooms, please keep your Huitlacoche refrigerated between 36°F to 46°F (2°C-8°C) in a well-ventilated container.