Inspired by an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show, we decided to search for huitlacoche in Atlanta. Also known as corn smut or Mexican truffle, huitlacoche actually bares no physical resemblance to a truffle. It is a powdery substance made up of grey/black spores that grow inside an ear of corn causing the corn kernels to swell.
Huitlacoche appears on the starter menu at Rosa Mexicano as “Quesadilla de Huitlacoche“. Grilled in a flour tortilla, huitlacoche is generously combined with poblano chiles, corn and Chihuahua cheese. Only the most sparing amounts of crema should be added. And, the salsa verde cruda is best left untouched or it will overpower the delicate flavor of the huitlacoche.
With the first taste, we noticed a pleasant smokiness reminiscent of the smokiness present in roasted hazelnuts. And, with the second bite we notice the lovely mellow earthy/woodsy/foresty scent and taste that resembles a truffle. The underlying essence of cocoa or cocoa nibs is quite delicate, almost going unnoticed unless the huitlacoche hits just the right spot on your tongue. The presence of vanillin in the spores adds a hint of extremely subtle sweetness.
We both enjoyed this first taste of huitlacoche. And, we’ll pursue new means of sampling this unique taste.
Other food on this visit:
Mariposa de Huachinango — Roasted whole red snapper with guajillo chile served with a roasted tomatillo, garlic and jalapeno molcajete salsa. We both enjoyed this. The fish was quite fresh and cooked perfectly. Rich flavor, delicate flakes and extremely moist, we’d order this again.
Estallido de Sol — This chocolate brownie topped with a chocolate tuille-like cookie and chocolate mousse was insanely dense. Both the mousse and brownie were extremely dense, rich and chocolatey. The orange mezcal sauce adds a nice bit of contrast to all of that chocolate. And, the drizzle of chocolate sauce around the edge is delicately laced with chipotle. Only a hint of flavor and the tickle at the back of your throat alert you to its presence.
Rosa Mexicano — Atlantic Station
245 18th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30363
404 347 4090