[photo courtesy bkusler]
Huitlacoche, I have been intrigued by you for over a year, and have occasionally looked for you in bodegas that seemed like they might carry you. I looked around in the 3-aisle "Hispanic Foods" section of the Food Bazaar for a canned version of you, but with no luck. So when I walked past the new "auténtica cocina mexicana de Williamsburg" by my house and saw the taco de nopales, hongos y huitlacoche on the menu, I was READY.
Sometimes I wonder about the first person to have eaten a thing, like, in history. Like, who was the dude who saw lobsters and was like, "You know what might be delicious? THOSE THINGS. Let's trap them and feed them to our pigs.* Oh wait, no, let's also eat them ourselves." Or mussels, or mushrooms, or hot dogs, or any number of things that, in theory, sound super-gross, but turn out to be amazing.
But, you, Huitlacoche, are probably the king of Things That Sound (and Also Look) Gross But Are Actually Delicious. Reason number one: YOU ARE INFECTED CORN. You're the most basic foodstuff - the building block of the food chain of the New World - that has been INFECTED with a FUNGUS. It's like someone said, "Hey, do you want to eat this hamburger? The cow had cancer so it's extra good!!"
But somehow it works, Huitlacoche. And for that, I will always love you.
*seriously, the pilgrims did this.