What is Huitlacoche or Corn Mushroom
“Corn Mushroom”, “Corn Fungus”, “Corn Smut”, and “Corn Truffles” are some of the other names associated with this delicious delicacy, known as “Huitlacoche” (pronounced “weet-la-ko-cheh”).
- What is Huitlacoche or Corn Mushroom
- What is Huitlacoche?
- Where do you buy Huitlacoche?
- What is the best season for Huitlacoche?
- What is the origin of Huitlacoche?
- What does Huitlacoche taste like?
- How long does Huitlacoche last?
- How do you cook Huitlacoche?
- How do you make Huitlacoche Tacos?
- How to Make Huitlacoche Tacos
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What is Huitlacoche?
Huitlacoche (or “cuitlacoche”) is a type of fungus (ustilago maydis) that has been consumed in Mexico since before the arrival of the Spaniards. This corn fungus grows close to the cob of corn, since it is actually an individual kernel that has become infected with the fungus, which causes it to swell up and change color.
The corn smut knows as Huitlaoche can have a color ranging from a light grey to a dark, bluish tone, and its texture is generally soft.
Where do you buy Huitlacoche?
In Mexico, Huitlacoche is easily found in the markets, where it is sold by weight, often by ladies who also sell garlic and herbs. If you’re buying Huitlacoche, make sure its color is as dark as possible, and the shape still resembles a swollen kernel, this way you know it’s still fresh. While the best way to buy it is fresh at the market, Huitlacoche can also be found sold in cans, jars, and in vacuum-sealed packages (especially outside of Mexico).
In the United States, Huitlacoche is produced in California and Florida, and in Houston, Texas, it is imported fresh from Mexico. In the other states, you can find Huitlacoche at Latin stores, either in a can or in a jar.
What is the best season for Huitlacoche?
Huitlacoche can be enjoyed from June, when the rains start, until November, when the rains end and the corn stops growing. Huitlacoche is more frequently consumed in the central part of Mexico, where the climate is more humid. However, Huitlacoche also grows in northern states like Sinaloa, but unfortunately, it is mostly thrown out or used as feed for livestock.
What is the origin of Huitlacoche?
Huitlacoche has been known since the pre-Hispanic era, where it wasn’t considered a food item at first. Instead, it was known as a “deformity”, which was simply removed and discarded.
Over the course of time, and given the fact that it could not be eradicated, people started to cook with Huitlacoche, and it could be found on Mexican tables at the beginning of the 20th century. Afterwards, it began to be found in other countries, where it was considered a Mexican delicacy.
Today, Huitlacoche has increased in popularity, earning new names like “Mexican truffle” and even “Aztec caviar”.
What does Huitlacoche taste like?
The taste of Huitlacoche is similar to that of a mushroom. Since it comes from the corncob, it does have a light, corn-like sweetness to it. The texture of the Huitlacoche is soft, and oftentimes there is some moisture or liquid inside when you bite into it. Overall, it has a very pleasant taste and mouth feel to it.
How long does Huitlacoche last?
Being a type of fungus, Huitlacoche has a limited shelf life, so it is recommended that you use it the same day or within two days maximum. If Huitlacoche is vacuum-sealed, however, it can be stored for a couple of months. You can also cook Huitlacoche and then store it in the freezer; Huitlacoche has a flavor that does not change much over time.
How do you cook Huitlacoche?
Huitlacoche does not need to be cooked in order to be consumed, so it is generally only sautéed lightly before being added to whatever dishes it is being used in.
The number one way in which Huitlacoche is prepared in Mexico is in the famous Huitlacoche Quesadillas. This is the most common way that you will find Huitlacoche being eaten. Nevertheless, Huitlacoche can be used in many types of dishes, like soups, tamales, tacos, crepes, lasagnas, and raviolis.
Besides being very versatile, Huitlacoche is also quite healthy; due it’s content of amino acids and fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6.
How do you make Huitlacoche Tacos?
Huitlacoche Tacos are very quick and easy to make. As you can see in the picture, you only need to sauté the onion and chopped garlic, add the Huitlacoche and a few Epazote leaves, season with salt, and serve in corn tortillas. This is the same way in which you can also prepare mushroom tacos.
How to Make Huitlacoche TacosJump to Recipe
1. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Separately, finely chop the onion and garlic.
2. Add the onion to the pan and lightly sauté for 2 minutes, or until the onion becomes transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for one minute.
3. Next, add the Huitlacoche and epazote to the frying pan. As you continue to cook, the Huitlacoche will release a bit of liquid, so stir lightly. Continue sautéing for about 5 more minutes, after which the ingredients will be done. Do not overcook them, otherwise they will become dry.
4. Place a portion of about 2 tablespoons of the sautéed ingredients in each tortilla, and serve the tacos alongside a good raw serrano salsa.
If you like Vegan Meals maybe you will enjoy this other dishes:
In some places, Huitlacoche is now used even as a topping for pizza, you can substitute mushroom in this recipe for pizza from Baked the Blog
- 2 Tbs vegetable or oilve oil
- 1 Lb Huitlacoche rinsed and cut into bite size pieces.
- ¼ medium size white onion medium size
- 2 small garlic cloves.
- 4 epazote leaves
- Salt to taste
- 8 Corn Tortillas homemade if possible.
- In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Separately, finely chop the onion and garlic.
- Add the onion to the pan and lightly sauté for 2 minutes, or until the onion becomes transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for one minute.
- Next, add the Huitlacoche and epazote to the frying pan. As you continue to cook, the Huitlacoche will release a bit of liquid, so stir lightly. Continue sautéing for about 5 more minutes, after which the ingredients will be done. Do not overcook them, otherwise they will become dry.
- Place a portion of about 2 tablespoons of the sautéed ingredients in each tortilla, and serve the tacos alongside a good raw serrano salsa.