Cuitlacoche (Corn Smut)

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Cuitlacoche (wheet-lah-KOH-chay) also called Corn Smut, Maize Mushroom, this gourmet rage is actually a Bulbous Fungus (technically known as Ustilago Maydis) that attacks ears of corn and makes the kernels swell to 10 times their normal size. The Corn's color turns an ugly medium-to dark-gray verging on black. Although most U.S. farmers consider it a plague and destroy infected ears, the Aztecs are said to have prized Cuitlacoche (in Nahuatl, Cuitlatl means "excrement," Cochi means "Black"). Enthusiasts say that Cuitlacoche has a smoky-sweet flavor that is a cross between that of Corn and Mushroom. Cuitlacoche is currently being cultivated in limited quantities in California, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

Cuitlacoche is used in a variety of dishes including sautees, soups, casseroles - in general, any preparation where cooked mushrooms would be appropriate.

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Continental United States
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