Huitlacoche or cuitlacoche, mexican traditional edible mushroom popular in local gastronomy
Food - Drink
Why Mexico's Huitlacoche Corn Fungus Is Prized By Chefs
What is Huitlacoche?
Huitlacoche, scientifically known as ustilago maydis, is an edible fungus that grows on the ears of corn during rainy seasons, consuming the kernels and forming a cloud-like growth. The fungus has a soft chewy consistency, with a savory, earthy flavor, making it esteemed by Michelin chefs and street vendors alike.
How to Cook With It
It’s hard to go wrong with huitlacoche as the fungus can be eaten raw, cooked similarly to mushrooms, or integrated into sauces for an earthy flavor. It pairs well with cheese, and huitlacoche quesadillas are a common Mexican street food. Otherwise, the fungus works as a taco or tamale filling or as a salad topping.
How to Find It
Although huitlacoche is easily found in Mexico, it’s typically only available to buy frozen in the United States because it is seen as a scourge by American farmers. However, due to its flavor and protein-rich nutrition, huitlacoche is gaining popularity in the States, and purveyors of the fungus are popping up.
How to Store It
Huitlacoche only lasts about 10 days in the fridge, so avoid storing it in plastic and include the original cob. If frozen, it will keep for a year, or you can dehydrate your fungus and soak it in water before using. Just remember that huitlacoche starts white and gets darker as it ages, and if it’s damp or smells rotten, it’s bad.