Edible Parasite

We leave Mexico in less than a week, and already I’m making lists of things I’ll miss. Most of this list is food, of course, and most of that food is breakfast, my favorite meal.

Meet huitlacoche, the edible parasite. If you’re an ear of corn, huitlacoche is a scourge, a life-threatening invader, a deadly fungus. But if you happen to be human, it is the queen of all things mushroomy. It’s utter blackness indicates the saturation of the flavor. It’s like discovering Valrohna chocolate, or Italian espresso, or black truffles.

Ordinary mushrooms are to huitlacoche as the lightning bug is to the lightning.

Here’s what it looks like in its corn-killing parasite mode:

From Troy Gardens.

Eww, I know.

But this is what it looked like this morning at breakfast:

Like most edible parasites, the black fungus needs its intensity diluted. This omelet with huitlacoche and gruyare cheese was stunning on its own, but I figured that a few more flavors never hurt. So I stuck it into a tortilla with tomato, refried beans, hot sauce, and a big wedge of avocado, and had a breakfast to drool for.

How did it taste? Well, I’ll give you a hint. The place in San Miguel where they served me this is called “Nirvana.”

‘Nuff said.

10 thoughts on “Edible Parasite

  1. Oh, man, Chris totally beat me to it! I was going to make this whole extended “Scott, Don’t Eat It” reference and everything. Dang.

    Ah well.

    (FYI: Have been keeping my distance from cats since reading all about Toxoplaswhatever.)

  2. I would be able to eat it with my eyes shut..i think. Im suuure it tastes good scott. * poor guy, hes been writing so much he cant even tell real food from sickening parasites*

  3. Wow… I just might eat that. Just. When you’re fasting, ANYTHING looks good. And by, the way, I just finished reading “Uglies”. One word. Brilliant! ^_^ I’m trying to track down some of your other books but sadly, the silly Malaysian bookstore only has this one. =(

  4. We had it again this morning, just for all you nay-sayers. And we plan to go back for more on Saturday morning, just prior to leaving for the airport. Actually, I had Oaxacan eggs this morning, but attacked Justine’s huitlacoche omlete in exchange for mole sauce.

    True, though, I don’t think I would touch the canned version. Same goes for a lot of foods, though. Like, say, spaghetti.

    Chris: It was not a place you ever ate breakfast when you were here. Did you ever have dinner at the fancy place with the big nude paintings on the wall? With the habiscus flower quesadillas? That place is open for breakfast now, and defeats all other breakfast places in SMA.

    Ami: Hunger is the best sauce, as the French say. Did you say Malaysian bookstore? Justine and I keep getting good reviews in the Malaysian Star. Is that how you found out about UGLIES?

  5. *is embarrassed* I hardly ever read the newspaper. To waste some time before breaking fast, my parents dragged me to an MPH bookstore and I thought that “Uglies” looked good. Now, I might actually pick up the Star to check whether they review other books.

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