The Mexican Truffle

Things I learned from the Internet: corn smut, called huitlacoche, is considered a delicacy. The Wikipedia etymology section is worth a read, too.

33 replies
  1. 1
    forked tongue says:

    That stuff is GREAT.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    You came across that while you were googling “smut,” didn’t you?

  4. 4
    KnaveRupe says:

    Go check out the segment on huitlacoche in Volume 7 of “Steve, Don’t Eat It!” at

  5. 5
    Robin G. says:

    That put me off my breakfast. Reminds me of the STD photos they used to pass around in health class

  6. 6
    p.a. says:

    c-c-c-can not re-re-sist…i consider all smut a delicacy.

  7. 7
    Alwhite says:

    20-25 years ago we had this stuff on the corn in our garden. It turns a beautiful shade of blue/purple (not appetizing but beautiful). About 5 years after that was the first I read about its uses as a food. I am not sure that even had I know this was eatable I would have tried it. I’d like to taste it but thats a hurdle to jump past getting over what it looks like.

  8. 8
    Keith says:

    I have a couple of cans of it in my pantry, but I haven’t had the guts to make anything with it yet (I was originally going to make huitlacoche tamales)

  9. 9
    Albatrossity says:

    I have an omelet made with huitlacoche in Veracruz once. It was delicious. I’m glad that the chef knew how to use it, ‘cuz I’m not sure I would look at that picture and think “Wow, that would be great in an omelet!”

  10. 10
    RossInDetroit says:

    I posted a link to a comic piece about this fungus but it disappeared. Perhaps it will return. If not, said humorous item can be found by googling

    Steve Don’t Eat it huitlacoche

    It’s worth a look.

  11. 11
    OldDave says:

    @RossInDetroit: I tried posting the same link – it’s apparently caught in moderation hell. The Steve Don’t Eat It blog posts are classic.

  12. 12

    Um. Yeah. I hunt and eat morels every year, but even I would think long and hard before I chowed down on that particular fungus.

    However, the fact that they’re shown dangling tumor-like from the ear of corn really ups the None for me, thanks, factor.

  13. 13
    Walizonia says:

    That just looks wrong.

  14. 14
    harlana says:

    it’s just a shroom growing out of an ear of corn instead of the ground, do not be afraid

  15. 15
    RossInDetroit says:


    Steve Don’t Eat it is indeed classic. I particularly love his review of natto – fermented soybeans. A snippet:

    I remembered hearing about this stuff on Iron Chef one time when it was the secret ingredient. The judges in the show were commenting on what a great job the chefs had done to “supress the smell” of the natto. I’m no Iron Chef, but I’ve got a clever way to supress the smell. Don’t put it in your fucking food. I might not win “Battle Natto,” but I promise you my dinner won’t smell like stank-ass soybeans. I found it slightly unsettling that the sealed styrofoam container had creepy little airholes in it. As if what was inside needed to breathe. I dared to lift the lid, which made me regret that I needed to breathe. The natto was coated in some kind of sick slime and had the complex yet playful aroma of a dumpster in July.

  16. 16
    Ken says:

    You have to admire those of our ancestors who discovered this stuff is edible. And truffles, morels, bleu cheese, rhubarb stalks, yogurt, oysters, asparagus, wine, okra…

    And let us have a moment of silence for those who discovered that the Death Cap mushroom, asparagus berries, rhubarb leaves, holly berries, foxglove… are not edible – whether they became our ancestors or not.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    I was underwhelmed when I tried it. It wasn’t bad or anything, but I didn’t get the delicacy part. It was just okay. Probably depends how it’s prepared. I had it in an appetizer at a Mexican restaurant. Nothing special.

  18. 18
    BethanyAnne says:

    I ain’t googlin “corn smut”. Nope. ;-)

  19. 19
    mistermix says:

    @KnaveRupe: I pulled this out of the spam filter – don’t know why it got marked.

  20. 20
    Threadkiller says:

    Delicious stuff, in omelets, tamales and crepes.

    Hell’s Kitchen in NYC has a huitlachoche crepe that is to die for.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    Tom Leher in 2. Gotta admire the crowd here.

    Huitachoche? Had it at least once and although I’ve lost the neuron that indicated exactly where on the pleasant to outstanding range it fell, I can confirm it provides simply hours of amusement when you look for more of it in markets.

    And in the list of improbable foods, I humbly add: the artichoke. Explain that one.

  22. 22
    daveNYC says:

    Eh, not a huge fan. There’s a bodega over in Hell’s Kitchen (10th Ave) that does tacos and whatnot out of the back. Goofy as hell. Back to the point though, I had some stuff with it there and it was just kind of a strong mushroom. Nothing bad, just not worth making a fuss over.

    Um. Yeah. I hunt and eat morels every year, but even I would think long and hard before I chowed down on that particular fungus.

    Now morels are something worth making a fuss over.

  23. 23
    artem1s says:

    with the amount of rain we’ve had in NE OH this summer I’m surprised the whole state hasn’t been absorbed by a giant smut ball. of course, smut brain may be the cause of King John’s delusional thinking about SB5.

  24. 24
    Hal says:

    Why do I feel like running Tinactin all over my eyeballs?

  25. 25
    Michele says:

    It is delicious, but honestly it tastes just like a really good mushroom. However, a really good mushroom is a good thing, and it makes omelets, quesadillas, etc., taste so good. It’s not morels, though.

  26. 26
    Ken says:

    @scav: I always figured that famine had a lot to do with these discoveries. If you read about the siege of Leningrad, for example, you’ll learn recipes for all sorts of things you wouldn’t think edible (not that some were anything but filling). There are also a number of foods that are poisonous unless prepared in just the right way (taro and fugu for example), so someone was pretty desperate.

  27. 27
    The Other Chuck says:

    This is what happens to those delicate cobs after a career in cornography.

  28. 28
    Paul in KY says:

    @KnaveRupe: If I’m gonna eat that stuff, I’m gonna eat it fresh & not out of a can.

  29. 29
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ken: Starving will make you quite experimental when it comes to trying out stuff to see if you can eat it or not.

  30. 30
    Ripley says:

    Has somebody let Kortney know about this stuff?

  31. 31
    jl says:


    I never thought of it that way. Just ‘shrooms, huh? So… what happens if you dry it and smoke it?

    As commenters above have said, it is good if fresh and mixed with eggs and and nopales.

    The preserved versions in cans and jars, not so good, but it tastes OK, but the visual aspect is not OK.

  32. 32
    Earl in CA says:

    @Violet: me too. living on the central coast of CA allows me to pick porcini’s chantrelles, agaricus varieties, and random fungas like cauliflower and shrimp russalas.

    corn smut just isn’t that good when compared to other edibles.

  33. 33
    Sko Hayes says:

    @KnaveRupe: Okay, I went there. Those pictures have assured me that I will never try anything that looks like it’s been rotting in a pile of cow shit for two years. Especially when it comes out of a can like that.
    This might make a great gag (literally) gift for my brother’s birthday, though.

Comments are closed.