Simply put, corn smut. It is a corn disease caused by the fungus Ustilago maydis. It causes the formation of galls, or tumor-like growths on corn kernels. They range is size from 1/2 to 11 inches in diameter, have a black color and release a black inky material when ruptured.
While it may not sound or look pleasant, it is edible and is a delicacy in Mexico and Central America. It has a smoky, earthy flavor and is an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
Some chefs are getting creative by using huitlacoche in foods from macaroni and cheese to ice cream!
Intrigued? Learn more at https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/huitlacoche/.
This is another term for popcorn. When popcorn was brought to the first Thanksgiving in 1621 by Chief Massasoit’s brother, Quadequina, the early colonists called popcorn “popped corn,” “parching corn,” or “rice corn.” In 1820, it was commonly referred to as popcorn.
Parched corn is also referred to as “chicos.” According to the Webster’s New World Dictionary of Culinary Arts, chicos are “dried kernels of corn used in Native American and Southwestern stews.” Today, these are also similar to corn nuts.
It sounds like an easy way to cook corn for a crowd. But it could be risky to make “cooler corn.”
The method is described as washing the cooler with soap and water. Place peeled corn in the cooler and pour boiling water completely over the corn. Close the lid and let stand 30 Minutes. Then, eat at your own risk!
Coolers are not designed to be used for cooking. Boiling water can damage the plastic. Coolers can also harbor millions of germs from other foods such as raw meat.
The best advice is to cook corn in a large stock pot for the safest results.