Mexican street corn, or elotes, are a popular delicacy in Mexico and it’s true – they’re so easy to make that they’re often sold right on the street. All you gotta do is grill, spice, and serve. And corn is so handy – it even comes with its own stick for handling. We found this yummy recipe for elotes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats! This is definitely a favourite for tourists, travellers and locals alike. When you are traveling, it is so important to step out of your comfort zone and try out something new that you may have never tried before. I know elotes, quickly became one of our favourite things while living and traveling around in Mexico. It was a totally cheap and delicious thing to have for a snack or along side some other street food like tacos or chicken.
First, let’s get to know our main ingredient – corn! It’s often classified as a grain, and sometimes even as a legume, but it’s actually considered to be a fruit, just like tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. Corn is actually a cultivated food that would not even exist today if human beings hadn’t started planting it. In fact, it cannot even survive in the wild at all! According to scientific research, it’s believed the people of central Mexico started developing corn crops approximately 7000 years ago, possibly more. It all began with a wild grass called teosinte, which looked very different from the corn plants we see growing in fields today. The kernels were tiny and spaced far apart, not all lined up and packed closely together as they are on modern day corn cobs. To them, this sacred food was known as maize.
Very popular with the native peoples of Central, South, and North America, corn became the primary staple in their diet and they used other parts of the plants for many other things as well – for example, the husks were often made into masks, mats, baskets, and sometimes even shoes. The kernels themselves were very easy to dry and preserve, and would feed entire villages for long periods. When Columbus came to the Americas, the native peoples introduced him to corn for the first time. Up until then, the rest of the world did not know about it! It soon became a favourite of the Europeans as well.
And when we see a recipe like this, we can see why! Mexican Street Corn is simply the best way to go when you’re serving up corn. It’s got all the most delicious ingredients in there – including chili powder, feta cheese, and garlic, to name only a few. And this is the perfect treat to grill up on the barbeque this summer, taking only a half hour to make from beginning to end. It will be a hit at your next patio or garden party! And the kids will love it.
For the full recipe for Mexican Street Corn and lots of other great meal ideas, visit the Serious Eats blog!