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My corn is infected!  RSS feed

 
John Elliott
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That's an exclamation point of joy, not of anger. See, instead of describing the infection as a blight or "corn smut", I use the Mexican word "huitlacoche" which means a delicious delicacy that you have been fortunate enough to get in your corn plot. Well, maybe it means that in Mexican Spanish, but in the original Aztec, it means "raven shit".

If you put "huitlacoche" into the YouTube search box, you can get all sorts of recipes for huitlacoche tacos, huitlacoche tamales, huitlacoche crepes, etc. I thought I would mention this, since with all the rain we have been having in the South, there is bound to be a bumper crop of it this year.

What's your favorite recipe for it?
 
Rebecca Walker
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I would love to try porn on the cob.
 
Miles Flansburg
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And it is good for you...
And it can be sold... for real money !!
Who new ?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/huitlacoche-corn-smut-goo_n_553422.html

Snip..

"Corn has virtually no lysine; huitlacoche is loaded with it. It also is packed with more beta-glucens – the soluble fiber that gives oatmeal its well-known cholesterol-cutting power – than, well, oatmeal."


"Their findings: An ear of huitlacoche costs about 41 cents to produce and sells for about $1.20. By comparison, an ear of sweet corn costs about less than a dime, with profits of just a few cents per ear.

Sando has few competitors in the fresh market, even though gourmet chefs pay $20 or more per pound for a chance to add the delicacy to their menus. But there are several Hispanic food companies, including San Marcos and Del Fuerte, who sell canned huitlacoche in the U.S."

Updated with a different link... http://keevaorganics.com/blogs/the-keeva-buzz/143132487-corn-smut-delicacy-huitlacoche-is-good-for-you

 
wayne stephen
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Cook them like mushrooms . I like it sauteed .Slice thin . Saute in butter with chopped scallion . Finish with a splash of red wine at the end.
 
Justin Neel
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When I first started to garden, about 15 years ago, every year my corn would get a terrible case of "smut", almost complete infestation of my crop, and I would tear it all down. After a few years of this I gave up trying to grow sweet corn at all and just planted more beans. About 3 years ago I learned that the fungus was edible and supposedly pretty tasty, so I decided to plant corn again, expecting to get a large harvest of fungus, so of course I now get plenty of sweet corn and haven't had a single cob turn to huitlacoche since.
 
tel jetson
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did you actively encourage the huitlacoche in any way, or did it just show up on its own?
 
John Elliott
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tel jetson wrote:did you actively encourage the huitlacoche in any way, or did it just show up on its own?


It showed up on its own last year. I made sure to let a couple ears get all the way ripe, to the point that if you shook them, you got black spore dust everywhere. After last year and this year, I think my garden will be well colonized.
 
tel jetson
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John Elliott wrote:
It showed up on its own last year. I made sure to let a couple ears get all the way ripe, to the point that if you shook them, you got black spore dust everywhere. After last year and this year, I think my garden will be well colonized.


nice. I went to the effort of getting a permit to transport cultures (a controlled substance), but I haven't made the time to rig up a system for propagation. I've heard vague rumors of wild infections out here, but nothing I can confirm. I've certainly never seen any in the field, even in ten years of growing many acres of sweet corn.

I love the stuff, though, and I'm quite sure there would be a ready market in my town.
 
John Elliott
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tel jetson wrote:I went to the effort of getting a permit to transport cultures (a controlled substance),


Yea, right, like the government is going to control the movement of airborne spores. Maybe you need to let your laundry air-dry in my garden.
 
Justin Neel
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tel jetson wrote:
John Elliott wrote:
It showed up on its own last year. I made sure to let a couple ears get all the way ripe, to the point that if you shook them, you got black spore dust everywhere. After last year and this year, I think my garden will be well colonized.


nice. I went to the effort of getting a permit to transport cultures (a controlled substance), but I haven't made the time to rig up a system for propagation. I've heard vague rumors of wild infections out here, but nothing I can confirm. I've certainly never seen any in the field, even in ten years of growing many acres of sweet corn.

I love the stuff, though, and I'm quite sure there would be a ready market in my town.


It grows wild all over the place here(east central Indiana), I ride my bike through the country quite a bit and regularly see ears of field corn infected, I haven't seen any this year but the cobs are still pretty young. I always avoid picking it for fear of pesticides\herbicides\gmo contamination, but now that you mention it I may grab the next ear I see, grind it up, and spread it on a separate corn patch next year. Which raises the question, will spores keep over winter and what would be the best way to store it?
 
tel jetson
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Justin Neel wrote:Which raises the question, will spores keep over winter and what would be the best way to store it?


I don't believe the spores are viable until the galls mature, at which point they spill out all over the place.

the fellow I was going to get cultures from keeps two compatible strains of sporidia in broth culture, then combines them to infect plants. probably not practical for most folks.
 
John Elliott
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Since this whole site is about living naturally and in balance with nature, I will answer the last two posts by saying yes, the spores will overwinter and no, you don't need to culture them on agar plates or broth. Of course, if you do go the mycologist route and get scientific about it, you can study things like infection rates vs. variety of corn vs. rainfall vs. phase of the moon and so forth.

I have to confess that even though I am very interested in fungi and their role in the natural world, when it comes to using them in the kitchen, I'm less impressed. My huitlacoche enchiladas came out OK, but nothing to write into Food Network about. I've sampled far more varieties of mushroom in my days than one can buy in stores, but to me, they all taste like -- mushrooms. The fruits of the Capsicum plant genus have far more variety in flavor than all of the fungal genera and species that I have sampled. There is one species of mushroom that stands apart in my mind: the giant puffball Calvatia gigantea. It doesn't have any taste at all, and when you slice it and dip it in egg wash and bread crumbs and saute it in butter, it tastes like bread crumbs sauteed in butter.

Huitlacoche seems to me to be a variant on a puffball -- grow big and then disgorge lots of spores to the wind. That tells me that if I let it mature to the point that I can use it as a duster in my garden, it will reappear when conditions are right again next year. And then I can once again see if it really is a delicacy and I've just been missing something about it.
 
andrew curr
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Anyone got the reciepie /method to make corn smut vasoconstricter!?
that would be usefull with the state of our health systems!!!
 
andrew curr
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Rebecca Walker wrote:I would love to try porn on the cob.

im sure some one here can help!
 
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