Weekly food rail, with items on corn smut, an easy recipe for Skillet Zucchini with Chopped Tomatoes, tips for understanding temperature terms, and more.

Wise to the Word: Cuitlacoche

Cuitlacoche (wheet-lah-KOH-chay), or huitlacoche, is corn smut, a fungal disease causing kernels to swell and ears to turn an ugly gray. Farmers usually destroy the infected corn.

But not so fast. The condition is called maize mushroom and is prized by some food fans who insist it produces a distinctive, smoky-sweet flavor. Small quantities are grown in Florida, California, Georgia and Virginia. It is canned or frozen for gourmet markets.

The stuff flavors a variety of dishes where cooked mushrooms are specified.

-- Canton Repository

Easy recipe: Skillet Zucchini with Chopped Tomatoes


1 teaspoon whipped light butter
1 cup chopped onion
4 small (6-inch) zucchini, thinly sliced
2 medium tomato, chopped
Freshly ground pepper


In a large nonstick skillet, melt margarine over medium heat; add onions and cook, stirring until softened. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender-crisp. Season to taste with pepper. Serves four as a side dish.

-- www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

Tip of the Week: Understanding temperature terms

What is the difference between tepid and warm? How about simmer and boil?

Recipes often use cooking terms without defining them. They do have exact definitions and are not interchangeable.

- Tepid or temperate is slightly warm to the touch.

- Warm is hotter than tepid. Tepid and warm are achieved easiest in a microwave.

- Simmer means to heat a food close to boiling but not hot enough to bubble. Stirring will be needed as it will stick.

- Boil is to change a substance from a liquid to a vapor over high heat. Stir often.

- Sauté means to cook food in oil or butter over high heat. The oil must be hot to avoid penetrating the food but not hot enough to smoke. Over-heating cooking oil causes many kitchen fires.

-- Canton Repository

Did You Know?

Celery was first recorded as a plant in France in 1623 and most likely was cultivated there or in Italy. -- www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

Critic's Cupboard: Sunsweet Pineapple

Dried pineapple is dried pineapple, right?

Not according to Sunsweet. The company says theirs is best because their plantations in the Philippines are at elevations of up to 3,000 feet. At such height, cooler temperatures add more moisture to the fruit, which makes for a juicier product.

I have to say, this is one moist dried pineapple. And I love the resealable pouch that makes it easy to transport for a snack on the go.

My only problem with the product is the addition of sugar. Why add it if it’s already so sweet?

-- Jennifer Mastroianni, Canton Repository

Food Quiz

How did Dr. Pepper get its name?

A. Named after the inventor
B. Named after the father of an old girlfriend of the inventor's
C. Named after the inventor's dentist
D. Named after the inventor's pet parakeet


Answer is at bottom of column

Number to Know: 17.1

Grams of protein in 1 cup of chopped, hard-boiled eggs. – calorielab.com

The Dish On …

“Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously” by Julie Powell

Julie Powell, nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto.

The film version of the best-selling memoir is written and directed by Nora Ephron and stars Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.

From the Beer Nut’s Blog

Sierra Nevada is known for great beers, but their newest beer is a little bit different.

Chico Estate Ale is made from ingredients - malts and hops - that are grown on Sierra Nevada’s brewery farms.

Sierra Nevada started planting hops in a field adjacent to the brewery in 2003, and used it last year in the Chico Estate Harvest Ale.

In January, they added 26 acres of two-row barley to the farm. Unexpectedly, they got a large yield by May, so they decided to make a 100 percent estate-made beer for the first time.

The Chico Estate Ale will be bottled in 24 ounce bottles.

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/

Food Quiz Answer

B. Named after the father of an old girlfriend of the inventor's

GateHouse News Service