Corn Smut(the garden)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Besides prevention, is ther anything that can be done about smut? Seems to be a bumper crop this year. We had very little last year and were careful in disposing of it. Thanks
-- Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 01, 2000
I understand some people eat it! Someone from this forum had sent a recipe, sorry i've lost it, but I understand it is a fungus just like mushrooms.
-- Sue (email@example.com), August 01, 2000.
Sue, I'd heard that. Yuck, maybe if I didn't know what it was, I might try it. It's too gross.
-- Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 01, 2000.
I've also read somewhere that people eat it. I believe it's considered a mexican delicacy. [Never tried it,doubt I ever would!] Blessings, ~~Tracy~~
-- Tracy Jo Neff (email@example.com), August 01, 2000.
Hmmmm.....wonder if Brad has a recipe for "corn smut wine"?!?
-- Polly (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 01, 2000.
It's call (c)huitlacoche, aka ustilago maydis. It is said that Mexican farmers whose crops are "infected" weep with joy because their crop is now worth up to 10 times the selling price of the corn alone. There are several websites with recipes and tips. If you live in an area like Texas or NC, with a large Mexican population, you could probably sell the ears as is at the farmers market. Just label it with the Mexican name given above. It's pronounced Wheet- la-co-cha, with the accents on the first (weak) and third (strong) syllables. I was going to work up the tummy to try it this year, but for once, I had a smut free year. Go fig.
-- Soni Pitts (email@example.com), August 02, 2000.
Eeeuuu! Sounds gross to me. I certainly can think of better things to eat.
-- Lynda (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 2000.
I do not (yet) have a recipe for corn smut wine. I, too have heard that it is quite delicious, and while I grow a few mushrooms, and harvest a VERY few wild ones, I have not yet progressed (or is it degressed) far enough to try the corn smut. If anyone has, please forward the procedures and instructions. I've had it here, and just disposed of the infected ears as soon as I've found them. GL!
-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), August 02, 2000.
I read in National Geographic that corn smut was etable. It is sometimes called Mexican Truffels. Wish I could find out more about how to prepare it.
-- Ed (ed_J88@hotmail.com), July 19, 2001.
Huitlacoche Soup Recipe from Ellen and Tom Duffy http://www.mykoweb.com/recipes/mn_mar92.html
In damp weather corn frequently becomes infected with corn smut-- Ustilago maydis--which when fresh occurs as pearly gray globules and ovoids displacing the rows of kernels. They should not be used when old and dried and powdery. At this time the black interior is widely exposed and the gleaming surface gone. It may cause uterine contractions in pregnant women when old and decayed. It is considered a great delicacy in parts of Mexico and here is a soup we have developed. It is delicious with a slight gray color. (There are black spores in the fresh globules also.)
A. 1-1/2 cups milk 3 Tablespoons flour 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 4-6 drops Tabasco sauce
B. 1 cup of Huitlacoche (or slightly more) 1 small yellow onion 1 clove garlic 2 Tablespoons bland oil or margarine or ghee (clarified butter) 1 cup chicken broth
Whirl together all ingredients in group "A" in a blender or food processor until mixed. Cook slowly, stirring until white sauce thickens. Chop finely all solid ingredients in group "B" and sauté until tender--add the Huitlacoche last as it cooks a little quicker. Whirl in blender or food processor with the chicken broth, add to the cream sauce, heat and enjoy.
Variations: 1. Substitute PickaPeppa sauce for the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. 2. Add 2 Tablespoons of chopped green chilies to group "B".
Can You Say Huitlacoche? The kingdom of the fungi is large, wide, and diverse, but as mycophagists our view of the fungi is very narrow and limited. Our concept of the fungi often ends with a few fleshy Basidiomycetes (agarics, boletes, puff balls) or even fewer Ascomycetes (morels and truffles). There are many other groups of fungi of scientific or economic interest but of little culinary value. Within the group of fungi called the Basidiomycetes (because spores are formed on structures called basidia) are two groups of fungi of great economic importance: the rusts and smuts.
The smuts (Ustilaginales) are distant relatives of our beloved Boletus and Agaricus. These fungi are called smuts because they form black dusty spore masses that resemble soot or smut. Over 1,000 species of smut fungi are known. All are parasitic on angiosperms (flowering plants) with over 75 families of angiosperms being infected. The rusts (Uredinales) are an even larger grouping of plant parasites, with over 4,000 known species. With over 5,000 species of rusts and smuts the only the corn smut (Ustilago maydis) is commonly eaten as food.
Growing on corn, Ustilago maydis forms large, swollen, kernel-like globules with soft black flesh covered by a silvery gray skin. Huitlacoche (pronounced wee-tlah-KOH-cheh) is the Nahuatl word for this fungus. Nahuatl was the language of the Aztecs and Huitlacoche has undoubtedly been eaten in central Mexico since before the times of the Aztecs.
You will probably never see fresh Huitlacoche sold outside of Mexico, but you can often find it canned in local Mexican markets. Even canned it is delicious, with an inky, mushroomy flavor that is hard to describe but easy to experience in this wonderful soup.
Notes on Huitlacoche: Corn smut must be becoming popular! The week that last months Mycophagist article on Ustilago maydis was in the mail Narsai David devoted one of his short programs about it on radio station KCBS. He mentioned that some farmers in the United States are attempting to grow corn with large corn smut infestations because the fungus is much more valuable than the corn it parasitizes!
In a note from Larry Stickney, he mentioned that he has seen Huitlacoche infested corn at the Monterey Market in Berkeley. Being sold at corn prices, not fungus prices--quite a find for the initiated! Larry also mentioned that there is another edible smut, Ustilago esculenta, which grows on rice and is considered a great taste treat in central China, where it is sold in the markets. According to Professor Mo-Mei Chen, it grows more on the plant stalk than the seed itself and is sweet and tender.
-- K.M. Michels (email@example.com), July 29, 2001.
Well, as a former culinarian (saucier at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago) I would like to mention a few things to those who are seriously curious but still wary of trying huitlacoches..They are not harmful or different than other edible fungi which many of us enjoy. The appearance of naturally occuring mushrooms turns many former partakers off, which is unfortunate because if you ever saw the inside of a slaughterhouse you may not ever want to eat beef again either. If you get past the way food comes to our tables you might like the subtle taste it gives certain dishes...French or Italian truffles have almost certainly absorbed the slober of hunting pigs or dogs so what do you really think is fair to ask for in your food's provenance? If the source is reliable you can find great pleasure in experimenting with fresh huitlacoches (I really don't like calling them corn smut)...if anyone is interested in recipes write me back...
-- Beaufort Longest (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 12, 2001.
Interesting reading about promoting and selling the fungus rather than the corn. I am growing two varieties of corn this year and I am in NC. If the fungus appears, what does it initially look like? And then, do I immediately pick the ears and sell it?
-- TD Matheny (email@example.com), May 04, 2002.