Expert Opinions

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POP QUIZ: What is huitlacoche? a) a Mexican bean stew, b) a tea-like beverage, c) a delectable corn fungus, d) an 8-leaved French flower, used in dessert making

the Healing Kitchen staff
Huitlacoche (wheat-la-COE-chay), an ingredient in Mexican cuisine, is a type of fungus that develops on ears of corn that grow in a humid environment. Also known by the unappealing English term of "corn smut," huitlacoche is a much sought-after delicacy and is available only in the late summer. It has a very distinct, very earthy, mushroom-y flavor and is usually lightly sauteed with a few seasonings (in Mexico, this is often the distinctly Mexcan herb called epazote) and used as a filling in tacos, empanadas, or even omelettes. Fresh huitlacoche is not widely available in the U.S.. And although there are a few growers in Florida, most of their harvest is shipped directly to restaurants because of its perishability. Look for it on the menu of some authentic Mexican restaurants. Canned huitlacoche is available in some Latin food stores.
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