Friday, June 29, 2007

Cuitlacoche

Our next journey takes us to Mexico, where we will delve into the language of food delicacies. In Mexico, the word for "yummy" is "Cuitlacoche" (kweet-lah-KOH-chay).

It's infected corn.

Since the time of the Aztecs, the fungus Ustilago maydis, also known as corn smut, maize mushroom, or huitlacoche, has infected and transformed perfectly normal corn into this:


That's right. They meant to do that. The Sneeze described opening a can of Cuitlacoche and tasting it:

In just a single serving, you'll experience a wide array of textures. Without getting too gross, it's because the disease is more advanced in some kernels than others. One bite might be kinda chewy, while the next might burst in your mouth like a black pus-filled blister.
Sound good?


When's the last time you ate something that looked like that? On purpose? Be honest, because I don't think that putting frogs in blenders is a common practice these days.

The large, bulbous things that look like frog eyes are corn kernels that have swollen to enormous size from fungal spores inside.

Enthusiasts report the taste of cuitlacoche to be a smoky-sweet mixture of corn and mushrooms. Not sure if I'd want to find out.

Right now, the only fungi I eat are mushrooms, beer, and bread. That's right. Beer and bread contain fungi.

Yep. Yeast. Yeasts are unicellular fungi, and certain types are some of my best friends.

I'm just not sure if I understand the language of maize mushroom. Has anyone tried it before? Can you help me translate?

15 comments:

Jaya said...

WHOA... get that stuff AWAY from me!!!

paisley said...

in the course of this life i have put some nasty things in my mouth,, but i assure that isn't going to be one of them!!!!!!!

Lord Likely said...

That is the foulest-looking thing I have seen since I clapped eyes upon my man-servant's horrid face this morning.

AWFUL.

Beenzzz said...

Am....YUCK! Why would anyone want to eat that? It's almost as vile as Paris Hilton.

Adria Balgassi said...

I'm not hungry anymore. ;)

Gerri said...

Uhhh... yeah. I'm glad I wasn't planning on eating any time soon. After seeing this I definitely don't want anything to eat.

Rick said...

(running to bathroom).....

Translator said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I agree with all of them.

Yuck.

Gaddy Bergmann said...

Ummm ... no thanks, lest I develop ergotism or something.
-Gaddy

botheyesgreen said...

Dunno ~might be tasty :)

Anonymous said...

Try it first (maybe not canned, though...)

Stefano Mugnaini said...

Looks less horrid fresh, I kind of hope my corn gets some,,,

Anonymous said...

for all you skeptics thsi is actually very tasty. you dont just eat it out of the can it has to be prepared.THE BEST TIME TO COOK IT IS FRESHHH OFF THE CORN. I HAVE AND ITS GREAT!!!!! I HAVE FRIENDS THAT FARM CORN AND I TAUGHT THEM HOW TO COOK IT AND NOW THEY EAT IT EVERY YEAR..SAUTED IN OIL W CORN ONION GARLIC TOMATO HOT PEPPER AND A LITTLE FRESH MINT OR BASIL AT THE END. LET SIMMER Mmmmm

Mr. Bruce said...

Where did you buy that from, I googled but found no on-line store.

John said...

Ate it as a condiment on my fish tacos before I knew what it was. It is fantastic. Smoky sweet and something in the can reminds me of canned spinach. I have a good supply and will eat it with my tacos often. I like to eat with an open mouth and an open mind.