Best Corn Smut Appetizer

Kekas at Casa Oaxaca
2106 18th St. NW, (202) 387-2272
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Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Few eateries in the District are bold enough to serve huitlacoche, or corn smut. No wonder: The dark blue-black gunk is the rather questionable-looking byproduct of disease-ridden maize, which the Mayans called the “excrement of the gods.” Fortunately, it tastes better than it looks. At Casa Oaxaca, the funky ingredient fills a blue corn quesadilla as part of the $9 kekas starter. Its mild, earthy flavor nicely complements the lingering sweetness of the corn. And its soft, slightly spongy texture gives the dish substance. Well seasoned, it pairs nicely with the nutty taste of the tortillas. Godly or not, the stuff is surprisingly un-excrement-like.
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