Follow Me To The Deep End!!

Apr 27, 2010

Corn Smut: the Healthful Disease.

cornsmutkernal

Corn smut or huitlacoche is a health food now?? Why, yes, it is. You may even wanna call it corn smart instead of corn smut from now on because it's not the comida loca that diners have long been repulsed by, calling it nasty names like "raven's shit" (which is what huitlacoche means translated from the Nahuatl language).

What exactly is corn smut? To quote from a past post I wrote on this subject, it's "a plant fungus called Ustilago maydis and infects an ear of corn via the ovaries and turns the kernels into tumors or 'galls' and expands them to the point of becoming mini volcanoes of erupting black pus."

No, I wouldn't go as far as saying this corn cancer can cure cancer but recently it's been discovered to have some significant health benefits.

"We had no idea huitlacoche could actually synthesize significant nutrients that don't even exist in corn," says Octavio Paredes-Lopez, one of Mexico's leading food scientists.

Take lysine, one of those "essential amino acids" that the body requires but can't manufacture. We need it to fight infections and strengthen bones. Bodybuilders pound lysine when they want to build muscle, and estheticians recommend it to keep skin looking young.


So it helps beauty and the beast, this bile of corn. Why not consider a corn smut add on when ordering your next empanada at your favorite Oaxacan hole-in-the-wall? You'll be glad you did.

Corn smut is only the latest in a chain of research revelations highlighting health benefits in an array of strange foods from jellyfish to bitter melon. Sometimes weird really is wonderful.

Please read the original article from HuffPo.

6 comments:

Ella+Felix Mama said...

YUM! What a bonus that it's also good for you.

Kathleen is Cooking in Mexico said...

I look forward to the summer months when fresh huitlacoche is in the grocery stores in Mexico. My favorite way to use it is as a filling for quesadillas. One article I read about it called huitlacoche "the truffles of Mexico".

Amy B. said...

Amazing photo! :-) Good job with the cooking as well, looks yummeh!

caninecologne said...

hey there! cool blog you have!

fyi - there's some places in san diego that serve huitlacoche in quesadillas. they called it "black truffle" or "Mexican truffle"...something like that since "corn smut" doesn't sound quite as "appetizing". i've seen it canned as some of the mexican markets too.

never tried it tho'.

Kiki said...

Mmmm, corn ovaries...

Anonymous said...

MMMM, Kiki.... ALL Corn Kernels are ovaries - plant ovaries, obviously not the animal organs.

So if you've eaten any corn at all, you've eaten loads of "ovaries"... ewww! Not!

Knowledge is fundamental...