Huitlacoche Crepes from Los Sombreros

Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let's face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the Valley.

This week: Huitlacoche crepes served up by Los Sombreros

¿Como se dice?: Huitlacoche, or corn smut, is the product of a fungal infection that attacks corn crops. The fungal parasite infects individual kernels of corn, bloating them upwards of ten times their original size and turning the yellow kernel dark blue to gray color. It also makes for a lovely taco filling.

While huitlacoche may look like something out of a Tim Burton dreamscape and sounds like it's more fit for the compost heap than a dinner plate, it's one of those don't knock it 'til you've tried it foods. Visit Los Sombreros for their huitlacoche crepes or quesadillas and expand your culinary horizon. You may come to find that the earthy, mushroom-like flavor and texture of these "Mexican truffles" aren't too shabby.

(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)

La Comida y El Sabor: The huitlacoche crepas from Los Sombreros came with two light and eggy folded crepes that were wrapped around an ample serving of tender huitlacoche with goat cheese. The crepes are then drizzled in a grayish blue cheese sauce and a bright red pomegranate reduction.

The results is a dish that is rich and earthy, with the blue cheese providing a pungent flavor that compliments the mushroom-like huitlacoche. The pomegranate offers a tart and bright contrast, while slivers of fresh red onions add texture and peppery bite. Overall, it's a well-balanced dish that does corn smut proud.

Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: It can be a bit of a challenge to find fresh huitlacoche, unless you know someone with corn crops. In which case, they're probably more than happy to cull their crops of the blight. Canned huitlacoche is the easiest to find and is a perfectly acceptable substitute for homemade huitlacoche crepes. It's almost impossible to find non-canned huitlacoche here in the Valley, but as always, where Ranch Pro Market fails the internet prevails.

Know of any Mexican gems in the Valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.

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Erica O'Neil