Zamzows Table: Elote Aka Street Corn

Zamzows Table: Elote Aka Street Corn

I must admit, before now, I had very little exposure to Elote, or street corn. The only glimpse I had of this mouthwatering treat was from the movie Nacho Libre. Though I enjoy fresh corn on the cob, it never made its way onto my weekly meal plan. However, after receiving numerous recommendations, I finally decided to give it a try. And let me tell you, I don't think I'll ever want to eat corn on the cob any other way! 


  • 4-5 ears of sweet corn - From the garden.
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise - From the store. 
  • Cotija cheese crumbled in a bowl - From the store. 
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili powder or Tajin - From the store. 
  • Finely chopped Cilantro - From the store. 
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges - From the store. 
  • Your favorite Hot Sauce - From the store. 
  • Bamboo skewers - From the store. 


  1. Add one to two tablespoons of salt to a water-filled pot and bring the water up to a boil. 
  2. Shuck and clean your corn, then add to boiling water. Cook for about five minutes until tender. 
  3. Using tongs, transfer your corn to a plate or tray and allow it to cool until they are easy to handle. Once cooled, insert your bamboo skewers into the bottom of your corn cobs.
  4. Using a basting brush, coat the entire cob with mayonnaise. Then roll the coated corn through the crumbled cotija cheese. 
  5. Sprinkle chili powder and cilantro over the top of your corn. If you want a little extra heat, drizzle some hot sauce over the top and finish off with a squeeze of lime. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to make Street Corn. It's almost as easy as boiling some corn on the cob. My daughter prepared it for the family while I was working on some other dinner elements. The added ingredients were undoubtedly worth the time for the tremendous amount of flavor you get back.


Respecting the Roots: The Cultural History of Elote

As we delve into the mouthwatering flavors of Elote, it's essential to recognize and appreciate its cultural significance and the roots it holds in South American cuisine. Elote, also known as Street Corn, has a rich history that dates back centuries and is deeply tied to the culinary traditions of Mexico and other South American countries.

The origin of Elote can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, such as the Aztecs and Mayans, who cultivated and revered corn as a staple crop. They would cook corn in various ways, and one popular method was grilling the cobs over an open fire. These early iterations of Elote were often served with a variety of toppings, including chili, lime, and cheese, providing a burst of flavors that delighted the taste buds.

Throughout history, the culinary heritage of South America has been influenced and shaped by the blending of cultures, including European, African, and Indigenous traditions. Elote is a prime example of this culinary fusion, as it reflects the indigenous origins of corn combined with the Spanish introduction of cheese and the use of chili as a spice.

Today, Elote has become a beloved street food in Mexico and beyond, delighting both locals and visitors with its harmonious blend of textures and flavors. The spread of this delectable treat to various parts of the world has undoubtedly contributed to its popularity and appreciation.

As we savor the exquisite flavors of Elote, let's pay homage to the South American cultures that have nurtured and preserved this cherished dish over generations. By doing so, we acknowledge the importance of cultural heritage and the contributions of diverse communities to the global culinary landscape.

So, as you prepare and enjoy this delicious Elote recipe, take a moment to appreciate its history and the culture from which it originates. Remember, food is not just sustenance; it's a celebration of traditions, a connection to our roots, and an opportunity to foster understanding and respect across borders.

Download full recipe.