Mexican corn on the cob: Elotes

articles Food & Cuisine

Karen Hursh Graber

This is a nighttime street snack in Mexico, but once in a while, especially on market days, someone is selling it during the day. The vendors of elotes usually also sell esquites, corn that has been removed from the cob and cooked with epazote, and chileatole, a thick corn and chile soup.

The cob of corn is fished out of steaming hot water or off the grill and a stick is inserted into the wide end of the cob for easy carrying. The vendor then slathers on the mayonnaise and seasonings. In Western Mexico, I’ve more often seen the corn grilled before being covered with the condiments, whereas in Central Mexico it is boiled. I prefer the blue-green field corn this way, but sweet corn can also be used. In Puebla, the vendor usually covers the corn with straight mayo, right out of an enormous jar balanced on the cart, but mixing the mayo with softened butter makes this extra delicious.


  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and boiled or grilled
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated cotija or parmesan cheese
  • ½-1 teaspoon ground red chile
  • salt and/or fresh lime juice to taste

Remove the corn from the water or off the grill. Mix the softened butter with the mayonnaise and spread the mixture all over the corn.

Cover the corn with the grated cheese, then the chile. Season to taste with salt and/or lime juice if desired. Serves 4.

Link to source article
Corn, beans and squash: the life cycle of the milpa

Published or Updated on: November 1, 2009 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2009
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