Corn smut is a plant disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis that causes smut on maize and teosinte. It forms galls on all above ground parts of corn species.
Smut is known to be a fungal infection in crop production. It's control is known to be its removal of the infected crop and burning it up to prevent its further spread. But the smut has its usefulness that's unknown to many instead of its destruction. Some farmer may use the affected crops to prepare silage instead.
To your surprise, the infected galls are edible and are highly esteemed as a delicacy in Mexico. The Mexicans call it huitlacoche than is preserved and it's sold at price higher than that of uninfected corns.
Huitlacoche is a delicacy used in all sorts of dishes from soups to enchiladas to sauces. Fresh huitlacoche is soft and velvety while the canned version is black and more liquid. The flavour is smoky and earthy with the taste like mushroom mixed corn and it's absolutely safe to eat.
It's only that it should not be eaten by pregnant women for it's believed to cause premature childbirth or miscarriages.
How to Prepare Huitlacoche Tacos
1. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Separately, finely chop the onion and garlic.
2. Add the onion to the pan and lightly sauté for 2 minutes, or until the onion becomes transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for one minute.
3. Next, add the Huitlacoche and epazote to the frying pan. As you continue to cook, the Huitlacoche will release a bit of liquid, so stir lightly. Continue sautéing for about 5 more minutes, after which the ingredients will be done. Do not overcook them, otherwise they will become dry.
4. Place a portion of about 2 tablespoons of the sautéed ingredients in each tortilla(chapati), and serve the tacos alongside a good raw serrano salsa.
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