Huitlacoche: What Does It Taste Like, And Does It Taste Good?

Even if you have enjoyed huitlacoche before, there’s a very good chance that you do not actually know what it is! It’s delicious, and it smells great, but it also comes with a lot of questions.

The answer to all your questions, like what is it and what it tastes like, might come as a surprise, so consider this your warning!

Huitlacoche What Does It Taste Like, And Does It Taste Good

This popular Mexican ingredient has already taken the world by storm, even if you were not aware of it yet.

So, if you want to find out about huitlacoche, then just keep reading. We are going to cover everything you need to know about this delicacy right here.

What Exactly Is Huitlacoche?

Huitlacoche is a traditional Mexican ingredient that is used in dishes like quesadillas, among other things. In truth, this tasty treat is actually the result of a disease that a plant gets – specifically, a fungal infection.

If you want specifics, rest easy knowing that the Ustilago maydis fungus is responsible. 

This fungus invades corn plants and infects every part of it. It causes the kernels to swell up, and black and blue spots will appear. While the disease does destroy the corn, it also turns it into something that, while visually unappealing, is delicious and versatile.

Once prepared, huitlacoche is used as a filling for a range of Mexican dishes, including tacos, tamales, and various stews. This ingredient has been used for hundreds of years, since the Aztec farmers even used it!

This ingredient can only be found fresh in Mexico. However, you can still get it in other forms, but more on that later!

How Is Huitlacoche Used In Cooking?

As we briefly mentioned, huitlacoche is a popular ingredient for a lot of Mexican food. It can be cooked up and used as a filling for things like tacos, quesadillas, and much more.

It can also be used for stews and similar dishes, so it’s really up to the user and what they prefer.

What Does Huitlacoche Taste Like?

It is difficult to adequately describe what huitlacoche tastes like to someone who has ever tried it.

Overall, you may hear the terms earthy, savory, smoky, corn-like, and even inky being used to describe it! Some huitlacoche might even be sweet, depending on what is done to it and how it is prepared. 

In terms of texture, this food item is typically spongy, with a similar mouthfeel to that of a mushroom. Funny, considering the plant was once infected by a fungus! It is unique and strange, but delicious and well-loved. 

You may have heart huitlacoche be referred to as “corn-smut”, as this is the common name given to the fungal disease the plant gets. We won’t dive too deep into that, though… 

Other names include Mexican or Aztec caviar, Mexican truffle, maize mushroom, or cuitlacoche. These names are important to know, as restaurants may use any of these on their menus, and you need to know what it is!

The texture of this food item can vary depending on how the product has been stored. When it is fresh, it will be springy and dry. If the food gets canned, it will be darker and have more fluid in it.

Because of manufacturing and storing, the flavors can also vary. If you wait too long to use it, the huitlacoche will harden and become bitter. At that point, it will be useless to you. 

How To Cook Huitlacoche

You could technically eat huitlacoche raw, but it is recommended to cook it first if you want to get the best experience with it. It can be prepared and enjoyed in various ways, making it a useful food to have in lots of different settings and situations. 

If you wanted this ingredient to take center stage on your plate, you could consider making a dish like tamales, quesadillas, or tacos and have huitlacoche as the primary filling.

Alternatively, you could add your corn-smut to a soup or stew to give it some extra body and flavor. 

However, sautéing this food is an easy and popular method of preparation. All you need is a skillet or pan, butter, garlic, and all your favorite herbs.

Of course, you could do whatever you like, but this good is typically prepared the same way you would mushroom. For this reason, some butter and garlic will never go amiss. 

You have absolute freedom when deciding the seasoning direction you want to go, and you can alter it to suit any meal you are making. Don’t be afraid to try out different flavors and cooking methods! 

Where Can You Get Huitlacoche?

Most people will need to get huitlacoche from online retailers. This is because you can only get it fresh in Mexico itself. So, unless you live in the wonderful Mexico, you might have your work cut out for you! 

Latin supermarkets are a great place to start if you live in the Americas, as there is a good chance that it will be supplied there. It will likely be canned to preserve it and make the product last, but also so that it can be transported easily. 

If you are on the other side of the world, like Europe or Asia, then getting your hands on huitlacoche could be a difficult task. You could try websites like Amazon, or Latin online stores.

Huitlacoche Recipes For You To Try

1. Mexico In My Kitchen’s Huitlacoche Tacos

How Long It Takes: 17 minutes

Calories Per Serving: 109 kcal

Ingredients Needed:

  • Huitlacoche (1 lb, diced into bite sized pieces)
  • Corn tortillas (8, best if homemade)
  • White onion (¼, medium sized, diced)
  • Garlic cloves (2 cloves)
  • Epazote leaves (4 leaves)
  • Olive or vegetable oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (to taste)

2. Forager Chef’s Huitlacoche Quesadillas

How Long It Takes: 30 minutes

Calories Per Serving: unknown

Ingredients Needed:

  • Huitlacoche (8 oz, diced into bite sized pieces)
  • Roma tomatoes (6 oz or 1 cup of canned, peeled tomatoes)
  • Flour tortillas (8-inch)
  • Medium white onion (1, finely chopped)
  • Grated cheese of choice (2 oz)
  • Fresh cilantro (small handful, chopped)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Cooking oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Minced garlic (½ a tablespoon)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes or a chopped jalapeño 

3. Tyrant Farms’ Huitlacoche Soup

How Long It Takes: 45 minutes

Calories Per Serving: unknown

Ingredients Needed:

  • Huitlacoche and corn (¾ cup)
  • Milk of choice (4 cups)
  • White onion (½ a cup, diced)
  • Pumpkin (1 cup, diced)
  • Chile pepper (1, diced)
  • Garlic cloves (4, diced)
  • Cilantro (2 tablespoons, diced)
  • Kosher salt (2 teaspoons)
  • Butter or bacon grease (2 tablespoons)

Final Thoughts

Huitlacoche is a Mexican specialty food item that is made from a corn plant infected by the Ustilago maydis fungus.

It has a unique earthy and savory flavor, with smokey and inky notes to it, and is used in a variety of Latin dishes. This includes dishes like tacos, quesadillas, stews, and much more. 

While you can only get fresh corn-smut in Mexico itself, canned huitlacoche can be purchased online or in supermarkets in various places.

Huitlacoche: What Does It Taste Like, And Does It Taste Good?

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Taste Like


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  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review
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