I was so excited to find this yesterday: a piece of huitlacoche, real huitlacoche, with the corncob still attached!
Usually vendors in Mexico sell huitlacoche (a corn fungus, obvs) in plastic bags, having already plucked the plump nuggets off the corncob. I bought this from an old woman outside Metro San Cosme, in the Colonia San Rafael. She had huitlacoche, nopal and a few bunches of herbs spread out on the sidewalk. Everything came from Toluca.
Fresh huitlacoche is a rare find in the United States, by the way. According to the cookbook Tacos, which I just stumbled on in Google Books (otherwise, I would not normally read a taco cookbook, because tacos are not dishes in themselves, they are a way to eat something) the U.S. government requires a special permit to grow huitlacoche, since it’s a fungus and the spores are disseminated through the air. Heaven forbid too much American corn becomes contaminated — how would we fulfill our corn syrup needs?
Unfortunately I won’t know what corncob-attached huitlacoche tastes like. I’m leaving town tomorrow for two weeks and won’t be home for most of today. Yesterday I gave my spooky huitlacoche to Lola, so she could enjoy it. She said she planned to make “unos ricos tacos.”