from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Corn smut prepared as a delicacy


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish huitlacoche, al alteration of cuitlacoche, from Classical Nahuatl.


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  • Called Corn smut in the U.S., it's a disease of maize caused by the pathogenic plant fungus Ustilago maydis. U. maydis causes smut disease on maize (Zea mays) and teosinte (Euchlena mexicana). Although it can infect any part of the plant it usually enters the ovaries and replaces the normal kernels of the cobs with large distorted tumors analogous to mushrooms. These tumors, or "galls", are made up of much-enlarged cells of the infected plant, fungal threads, and blue-black spores. The spores give the cob a burned, scorched appearance. The name Ustilago comes from the Latin word ustilare (to burn).

    Considered a pest in most of the United States, smut feeds off the corn plant and decreases the yield. Usually smut-infected crops are destroyed. Some farmers may also choose to prepare corn silage out of the smutted corn. However, in Mexico corn smut is called huitlacoche (IPA: wit͡ɬakot͡ɕe, sometimes spelled cuitlacoche), a Nahuatl word reportedly meaning raven's excrement. It is considered a delicacy, even being preserved and sold for a higher price than corn. For culinary use, the galls are harvested while still immature — fully mature galls are dry and almost entirely spore-filled. The immature galls, gathered two to three weeks after an ear of corn is infected, still retain moisture and, when cooked, have a flavor described as mushroom-like, sweet, savory, woody, and earthy. Flavor compounds include sotolon and vanillin, as well as the sugar glucose.

    January 18, 2009

  • Never ate it in my 2 years in Mexico - but the images of this smut fascinate me, if not disgust me.

    January 26, 2010

  • Qué parte de México?

    January 26, 2010

  • ruzuzu: viví en Uruapan, Michoacán; San Luis Potosí, SLP; León, Guanajuato, Morelia, y San Miguel de Allende, Gto; Guadalajara, Jal; Tepic, San Blas, y Puerto Vallarta, Nayarit; todo El Bajío; y un visite a México, D.F. y countless ejidos, granjas, y pueblos en estas partes....

    January 26, 2010

  • ¡Qué bueno! Voy a visitar a mis abuelitos en el estado de Oaxaca en febrero.

    January 26, 2010

  • ruzuzu: Dígales (por favor) a sus abuelitos que hay un "Wórdniquo" en los EE.UU que les da saludos!

    January 26, 2010

  • Por supuesto. ¡Muchísimas gracias!

    January 26, 2010

  • I should not have clicked on this page.

    April 30, 2010

  • I was sure this was going to be an ancient aztec car. Or ... an Aztek

    June 8, 2011