While June 11th is National Elote Day, the available corn on the cob in our neck of the woods (the Northeast) is more than a month away from its summer best. August is our peak corn month.
So we saved this post until now, along with a query:
Do you want to find delicious ways to serve elote and their fraternal twin, esquites?
What’s elote, the uninitiated may ask?
Elote is (ay-LOW-tay, plural elotes) means tender corn cob.
The word derives from the Nahuatl elotitutl (Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, is still spoken today).
Elote is a popular street food in Mexico, typically grilled on a stick on the vendor’s cart.
It’s then brushed with melted butter or mayonnaise, rolled in cotija or queso fresco crumbles, and dusted with chile powder and salt (photo #1).
You also get a lime wedge to squeeze over the corn.
Some vendors (and home cooks) serve a more elaborate topping for the base, or as a drizzle on top of the other ingredients.
This more elaborate cream base is made from sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, pepper and cilantro. Yum!
Other toppings include Tajin tangy chile seasoning, chopped scallions and cilantro.
Esquites (es-KEE-tays) are the same corn kernels removed from the cob, seasoned the same way, and served in a dish with a spoon.
Ingredients like chorizo, which don’t work on a corn cob, can be added.
Also known as elote en vaso esquites are another way to enjoy the Mexican corn snack (antojito).
The word comes from the Nahuatl word ízquitl, which means toasted corn.
But take a modern look: Esquites can be used in any variety of ways beyond the street cart.
How to make corn on the cob even more popular?
You can serve either elote or esquites in a party bar format, allowing family and friends to add their toppings of choice.
We promise it will be a memorable event, as in, “Remember that great elote bar?”
Perhaps you’ll make it an annual event!
Photo #1 is the classic elote and photos #3 and #4 are serving variations. You can take the same creative approach with esquites.
It can be as simple as a garnish on top of a piece of grilled meat or fish. Or, how about:
 At Manzanita in Silicon Valley, an elote innovation: Executive Chef Adam Ornellas cuts the cob into four strips, then frys them into dramatic curls. A charbroil finish lends a nice smokiness, and the dish is finished with a chorizo vinaigrette (photo #3 © Manzanita Restaurant).