Corn truffle, also knows as cuitlacoche (wee-tlah-KOH-cheh) is a fungus that grows naturally in the ears of corn. In America, corn truffle is known as “smut” and “devil’s corn”, but in Mexico, it is considered to be a delicacy.
The truffle feeds on the corn plant and decreases the yield. Truffle-infected crops are often destroyed. In Mexico, however, smut is highly esteemed and is known as huitlacoche. It is preserved and enjoyed across the world to those who have acquired a taste for it.
When corn truffle grows on a corn cob, it changes the nutritional worth of the corn it affects. Corn truffle actually contains much more protein than regular corn does. The amino acid lysine, which resides in corn becomes abundant in the corn truffle as it grows.
The cuitlacoche is blue in colour and transforms into the recognizable black colour only when cooked.
A versatile addition to meals, corn truffle is often added to dishes such as crepes, quesadillas, soups and tamales. The American Hopi also call it “nanha”, and collect it before it matures, par boiling it for several minutes and then sautéing it in butter until crisp. It is part of many cuisines and prepared in various ways.
A popular dish in Mexico is the ‘succotash’ which can be made from chorizo, onions, garlic, serrano peppers, huitlacoche, and shrimp with salsa taquera. The mild, earthy flavours of the huitlacoche suit the fats of the chorizo nicely and soothes the heat from the peppers and salsa to create a well-balanced and flavourful dish.
In Mexico today, it is actually cultivated each season for ample produce, and eaten fresh, frozen or canned.
Our range of corn truffle is canned, making for a more mature and flavourful truffle. In the can the truffle absorbs flavour and also preserves it for a long shelf life.