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Cornudas

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i just ate a local taqueria in West Chicago. the style of cuisine is Zinapecuaro. I had a dish called Cornudas with pork and red chile sauce. Is anyone familiar with this dish? I'd like to try and recreate it at my home. Any information is helpful. Thank you.

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  1. The dish you had is *corundas*--note spelling. Zinapécuaro is a town about half an hour east of Morelia, Michoacán, where I live.

    Corundas are the tamal specialty made in Purhépecha (indigenous Michoacán) communities. They are blind (i.e., unfilled), relatively small tamales made from corn masa, shaped into a five-pointed flattish pyramid, wrapped in corn leaves (not corn husks--the corunda is wrapped in the long green LEAF of the corn) and steamed. The corn leaf imparts a subtle flavor to the corunda.

    Some corundas are made quite large (softball size) and stuffed with a cheese similar to cream cheese, strips of roasted chile poblano, and then wrapped in the same corn leaves and steamed.

    Still other corundas are made from wheat masa and taste exactly like bran muffins.

    All three kinds of corundas are delicious.

    Traditionally, corundas are served with a delicious, spicy beef and vegetable soup called churipo. Churipo is also quite red in color, the red coming from the chiles used to prepare the soup. Is it possible that your dish was churipo and not pork? Corundas are usually brought steaming-hot to the table still wrapped in their corn leaves. The diner unwraps them and breaks them into chunks to either put into the bowl of churipo or to dunk into the soup.

    You are fortunate to have found a restaurant in the USA that serves this very traditional Michoacán tamal. Even if you prepare the masa for corundas at home, acquiring the long, fresh, green corn leaves for wrapping them could be difficult. Maybe the restaurant could help you source them.

    Although West Chicago is close enough to corn fields that you might have some luck with local farmers! I used to live in Warrenville--a long, long time ago--and often went to West Chicago.

    You will enjoy reading Mexico Cooks! The articles and photos are primarily about the region (and foods) of Michoacán.

    Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

    6 Replies
    1. re: cristina

      Hi, Thanks Cristina, I had a feeling that the name was misspelled. I wrote it exactly as it was on the menu and I could not find any information about it - I did notice a lot of type-o's on the menu.

      I'm pretty sure I ate pork although the waitress told me that they only have "one kind" today maybe on other days they have the beef. I know that the tamales did have a distinct kind of green flavor profile the first time I ate them - probably from the corn leaves. the second time I had them (after the corn season) they did taste a little different and they were much larger. the long leaf would make sense for the triangular shape of the tamales.

      I also looked at your link and bookmarked it. I'm sure I will be visiting the website often.

      What a coincidence that you used to live in Warrenville - I don't know if I have it posted on my profile but I live in Warrenville now. I am a professional chef and somewhat of an expert on Latin cuisines of the world so it is always a great find for me a dish that I am completely unfamiliar with. The restaurant also had a menu board that said, "tenemos champurrado". what can you tell me about that dish?

      I would love to get a recipe for Wheat tamales. Any chance you might have one? Do you ever visit Warrenville? If so, let me know and I'll cook you dinner and you can tell me about the cuisine of Michoacan.

      1. re: HamburgerToday

        HT, thanks for your reply to my post.

        First, *champurrado*. It's thick, hot, *atole con chocolate*, and you'll love it. *Masa para tortillas* is the thickening agent. Here's a link to a good traditional recipe:
        http://www.recetasgratis.net/Receta-d...

        I will have to look around to see if I have a recipe for the wheat corundas. Surely somewhere in my Mexican cookbook collection there is one. Failing that, on Monday I will ask the vendors in Pátzcuaro, if I see that any of the women are selling them.

        It's been years since I have been to Illinois--22 years, now that I think of it. Wow. And it's been more than 30 years since I lived in Warrenville--do you know where the Summerlakes subdivision is? That's where I built a house, in 1977.

        I'll make you the same offer: if you ever come to Morelia, we'll do a regional cuisine tour of Morelia and Pátzcuaro. You will faint from joy at the food.

        You can email me: patalarga@baddog.com.

        Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

        1. re: cristina

          This is too much of a coincidence. I live in Summerlakes On Branch Ave.

          1. re: HamburgerToday

            <cue Twilight Zone theme>

            Angeline Court, corner of Continental Ave. We were among the first houses built in the development. I'll bet the trees are all grown up...

            Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

            1. re: cristina

              Cuernudos..is slag for Horny...Cuerno is the Horn...Cuernavaca is Bulls horn.

              could be that the chili sauce was like the tip of the horn...

              1. re: SAguy

                Your definitions are accurate, but your suggestion is incorrect.

                Please read my first response to Hamburger Today's post and his response re typographical errors in the restaurant's menu. What he ate were *corundas* and had nothing to do with horns.

                Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com