Nahuatl term for Ustilago maydis, a soil-borne fungus that grows primarily in sweet corn in damp weather; infected kernels grow large and oddly shaped, turning pearly grey or black as they fill with spores.

In the U.S., if farmers get this corn smut, they destroy the crop or feed it to pigs. In Mexico, it's a delicacy and farmers will get a premium price for their crop. Aztecs boiled or toasted this mushroom, and the Maya would boil, roast, or cook their huitlacoche in tamales. You might find it fresh in Mexico, or in Mexican nouvelle cuisine restaurants in Florida. In the U.S. it is sold in cans in Mexican markets. If you're interested in cooking with it, a quick search on Google will turn up a variety of recipes.