Mexico — By Laura Nazimiec on June 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Filed under: cheap eats, featuredarticle, food

Mexico City Eats: Elote

If I haven’t said it before, one of my favorite things about Mexico is all of the delicious food that is available very inexpensively on the street.  Once a month I try to highlight one of the many street foods that can be found at stands and stalls throughout the capital.  Last month the snack of choice was bunuelos.  This month it’s elote, Mexican grilled corn on the cob.

Elote, San Angel, Ciudad de Mexico

Vendor preparing esquite in Mexico City

The name elote originates from the Nahuatl word elotl.  Nahuatl was the language of the Aztecs and today, many words and place names of Nahuatl origin continue to be used in Mexico.  In Mexico City many destinations retain their original Nahuatl spellings and pronunciations.  In fact, variations of the Nahuatl languages are still spoken by a small percentage of people in central Mexico.

Elote is prepared by steaming the corn or roasting it in the husks until the kernels are soft and charred.  The corn is then removed from the husks and grilled.  After grilling, the corn is spread with mayonnaise and sprinkled with mild-flavored Mexican white cheese.  Finally, it is seasoned with lime juice, cayenne pepper or chile powder and salt.

If you prefer your corn off the cob it’s possible to order esquite, corn cut off the cob, served in a cup and eaten with a spoon.  The same toppings used in preparing elote are added to esquite.

As it turns out, the popularity of elote is spreading north of the border and it’s already a favorite street food in places like Chicago, New York, Texas and southern California.  So if you haven’t had the chance to try it yet, it may not be long before you do.

Photo Credit: Laura Nazimiec

Tags: cheap eats, featuredarticle, food

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