It's been tough going for the Mexican truffle here in the U.S. It seems that neither time nor efforts by the James Beard Foundation to increase popularity have been able to make people understand that corn smut, or huitlacoche, is a truly tasty delicacy that's really no funkier than your average mushroom.
You can find the ingredient on several Valley menus, but if you'd rather take some home and try it out for yourself, now is your chance. You can get fresh, funky, corn fungi right now from Cooked Sky Farms.
See also: Huitlacoche: Mexican Truffles
Farmer Frank of Crooked Sky Farms in South Phoenix says he found the corn smut on some of his crop last week. And while it's illegal to encourage the growth of huitlacoche -- since it is a spore that can infect others' crops who may not want the fungus -- he pulled it since he knew some people would be interested in getting fresh corn smut.
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In Mexico fresh huitlacoche can be found at markets, though here it's mostly only available canned at Mexican grocery stores. The smut can be used pretty much any way a mushroom would be, for example in omelets, quesadillas or tacos.
"To me, it has a very pronounced corn flavor, and it tastes a little mushroom-y, too," he says about the flavor.
There's an extremely limited supply of huitlacoche available since they aren't encouraging its growth but if you want to get some, you can call the farm and ask about availability and pricing. If there's none around, they'll be able to put you on a list to let you know the next time some is found. Farmer Frank estimates they might only find 8-10 ears of corn with the huitlacoche during any given harvest.