If there’s one thing I love about writing this blog, it’s the fact that it allows me to speak in a more informal tone than I normally would on any of our other marketing channels. I’m not sure why, but it feels like I’m talking to close friends.
So, that’s why this is the perfect forum in which to tell you about a very unique event at Alma Cocina on Saturday, November 10. It’s the first in a series of special dinners that will explore the secret ingredients, preparations and traditions found in truly Mexican pantries.
First up is huitlacoche (WEET-LA-KO-CHEE). This is where the friend-to-friend aspect of this post comes in to play. This isn’t the prettiest of ingredients, OK? In fact, it’s a fungus that grows on corn. But, dang, is it GOOD! It’s smokey, earthy and even a little sweet in its fresh form. Its texture is velvety and smooth, like a mushroom. Many refer to it as a Mexican truffle (which, by all accounts, ain’t no Elizabeth Taylor, either). But, like I said before, it’s a face only a madre could love.
But we’re not here to be all judgy, right? That would be cruel. We have to look beyond appearances to what lies below. In fact, scientists have assumed that huitlacoche had nutritional values similar to those of the corn on which it grew. Not true. Test results just published in the journal Food Chemistry reveal that it is packed with unique proteins, minerals and other nutritional goodies. In fact, it synthesizes significant nutrients that don’t even exist in corn. Take that, beautiful ingredients of the world!
So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, unleash your inner culinary explorer and behold the delicious 5-course menu Executive Chef Chad Clevenger has designed in partnership with Burns Huitlacoche Farm in Groveland, FL. Yes, there are farms just to grow these little beauties and it even has a Facebook page!
Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Salad huitlacoche kernels, huitlacoche sauce, avocado, fried epazote, and huitlacoche paper
Huitlacoche Tamale mushrooms, charred tomatoes, roasted garlic, pickled onions, and ranchero sauce
Huitlacoche Masa “Fettuccine” roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, huitlacoche cream sauce, cotija, cilantro, and boiled Marcona almonds
Confit Pork Cheeks arroz con crema, huitlacoche brown butter, and grilled sweet potato greens
Sweet Corn Atole huitlacoche cream, dried corn, and sweet potato churro
The exclusive dinner is only $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and seating is limited, so make your reservations today by calling 404.968.9662. And remember, beauty—and taste—are in the eye of the beholder.