Tacos de Huitlacoche

Huitlacoche (corn smut) is a fungus, Ustilago maydis, that infects corn plants. In the US it is a disease; in Mexico it is a delicacy. The fungus infects the ovaries, and instead of putting out kernels of corn, it makes kernels of delicious high-protein fungus!

I first ate it 20 years ago or more at the Hotel de Cortés in Mexico City. Since then, I’ve had it many times in restaurants, and also bought it at the market and cooked it (with Elissa). You see it in the traditional markets, usually separated from the cob and ready to cook.

From the market

From the market

I walked up to Mercado San Jose (more properly “Mercado Alcalde y Garcia,” named for two lieutenants killed in the US invasion of 1946) to buy the ingredients.

The star of the show

with epazote and jalapeño

recommended by market woman

Elissa/Dada

Shucking the kernels

Sliced baby onions and jalapeño

Pressing garlic

adding onion and jalapeño

adding huitlacoche, corn kernels and epazote

Elissa tastes

Peter tastes

Best supporting actor

Artisanal goat cheese from the weekly organic market at Coatepec