Mexico’s Black Gold: Huitlacoche

PhotographLong considered the truffle of Mexico, huitlacoche is a staple of the “old world” Mexican cuisine. The Aztecs considered the delicacy  as a gift from the gods. In pre-colonial times, they added the fungus to crepes, soups and tamales. Huitlacoche (pronounced wee-tla-co-che), is now a mainstay in today’s Mexican kitchen.

Unattractive to the eye, the huitlacoche has the appearance of a mushroom like growth on corn. Harvested from April to October (Mexico’s rainy season),  it could be found fresh in markets all across Mexico.

That is not the story here in the US.  Long considered a crop killing “corn smut”, American farms fear the growth of huitlacoche. Only a handful of farms in the country even attempt to harvest it. For a successful crop, there must be a perfect combination of rain, temperature, and wind. One farm that has mastered the cultivation process is the renowned Burns Farms of Groveland, Florida. They are the supplier to some of the top Mexican restaurants in the country, as well as Gabbi’s Kitchen!

Photograph The flavor of the huitlacoche is quite complex. To the palate it has a combination of sweet, savory, earthy, and a mushroom like flavoring. Due to the earthiness of the truffle, Gabbi likes to sauté the raw product with onions, corn, garlic, epazote, and serrano chiles. She then adds the finished product to her Quesadilla de Huitlacoche and Crema de Elote!

Photograph        If you have any addtional questions regarding all things huitlacoche, join our discussion on Twitter! #huitlacoche


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