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Food & Drink

Trend We Love: Huitlacoche (a.k.a. corn smut), spotted on Mexican and non-Mexican menus alike

Trend We Love: Huitlacoche (a.k.a. corn smut), spotted on Mexican and non-Mexican menus alike
(Image: Signe Langford)

Huitlacoche (pronounced weet-la-KOH-chay), a corn fungus that’s popular in Mexican food, has two commonly used English names: the gross-sounding “corn smut” and “Mexican truffle,” which over-promises a little on its earthy if not quite transcendent taste. It’s been showing up with increasing frequency on Mexican menus for the last few years; more recently, we’ve noted an uptick in the use of huitlacoche at other types of restaurants too. Here’s where we’ve spotted it:

  • at Yonge and St. Clair’s mostly Spanish Cava: nearly rare scallops served on a mass of huitlacoche (the server bragged to our reviewer that “It’s basically rot”)
  • at Nathan Isber’s Atlantic, which promises food that’s “a little lower on the food chain”: a huitlacoche vegan risotto and a plate of grits and huitlacoche with long beans, duck eggs, cheese and corn, among other dishes
  • at the Danforth Mexican restaurant Pachuco: huitlacoche tacquitos, shown above
  • at David Chang’s new family-style restaurant Daishō: a side of corn with huitlacoche and lemon
  • at Kensington Market favourite El Trompo Taco: a straight-up huitlacoche quesadilla
  • at Maizal Quesadilla Café, the new Liberty Village Mexican street food restaurant: another straight-up huitlacoche quesadilla
  • Nota Bene’s David Lee adorns a plate of braised short ribs, pickled red onion and queso añejo with a huitlacoche-based sauce

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