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Mexican Corn: Elotes vs Esquites

All about Mexican Corn

Mexican Corn

Are you looking for a delicious side dish to add to your Mexican-themed menu? If so, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to make Mexican corn. This flavorful, creamy, and sweet dish is sure to be a hit among anyone at your dinner table. It’s easy enough for even novice home cooks to master as all of its ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores. With just a few minutes of prep time and 15 minutes or less of cook time, this delicious side dish will have dinner served in no time!

This spicy, zesty recipe combines the classic flavors of Mexican-style corn with delicious spices that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you choose to make it as an accompaniment or serve it on its own, this simple yet flavorful dish can be easily tailored to suit any palate. Allow us to show you how!

What is Mexican corn?

Experience the Unique Taste of Mexican Corn – the Perfect Summertime Side Dish! This deliciously seasoned grilled corn on the cob is coated with savory flavors, including chile powder. With a touch of lime juice and cilantro, Mexican corn will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Discover the variety of Mexican corn, including Esquites and Elotes. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable addition to your meal!

Discover the savory sensation of Esquites, a popular Mexican street food served in a cup. Fresh corn kernels are expertly combined with tangy cotija cheese, zesty lime juice, and creamy mayonnaise, then dusted with chili powder to create a delicious corn-based snack. For additional flavor and texture, scallions, chopped jalapeño, and cilantro may be added to the mix. Enjoy the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with every mouthwatering bite!

As for Elotes, a similar dish available on the cob, the rich flavorings are slathered on the outside, so you can enjoy the messy goodness anywhere, anytime. Get your taste buds ready for this unique and delicious experience!

What are the differences between elotes and esquites?

There are many differences between elotes and esquites. 

Wondering about the distinction between two beloved Mexican dishes? To begin with, elotes are generally presented on the cob, whereas esquites are not.

Second, elotes are ears of corn that are grilled or roasted and then topped with mayonnaise, cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. Esquites, on the other hand, are boiled or roasted corn kernels that are then sautéed with onions, chili peppers, and lime juice. They are often served in a cup or bowl with the same toppings as elotes.

The Recipes

Discover the most popular street dishes in Mexico that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. As you journey through the country, you’ll come across these two mouth-watering dishes at street stalls, food trucks, and restaurants. Although they may appear similar, there are distinct differences in how they’re prepared.

How to Make Elotes?

Start by steaming or boiling your corn cobs until they are cooked to perfection. While the corn is cooking, combine mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, optional cayenne, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, shred Cotija cheese and chop cilantro.

Once the corn is cooked, brush it with the mayo blend and sprinkle the Cotija and cilantro mixture all over. Add a dash of chili powder to add an extra burst of flavor. And the best part? You can customize the recipe to your liking, adjusting the ingredients to suit your taste buds. A delicious and easy side dish that is sure to impress.

How to Make Esquites?

Looking for a delicious and satisfying recipe that’s perfect for any occasion? Look no further than our amazing Esquites recipe! Unlike traditional elotes, our recipe calls for removing the kernels from the cob, cooking them for five minutes in a skillet with butter and garlic, and then combining them with a variety of savory and delicious ingredients such as mayonnaise, cotija cheese, lime juice, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and salt – all in one amazing mixing dish! With just a few simple steps, you’ll create a dish that’s sure to please even the most discerning taste buds. So why wait? Try our Esquites recipe today!

If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, then you already know that both Elotes and Esquites are savory must-haves. The truth is, these two dishes are nearly identical with just a few minor differences. 

Unlike Elotes, Esquites are served in a cup. This makes them easier to eat and enjoy on the go. Plus, before preparing Esquites, you’ll need to remove the kernels from the cob. Sounds simple enough, right? So, the next time you’re craving Elotes, consider giving Esquites a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Serving Method


Elotes are a delicious but slightly more challenging treat compared to Esquites. You can add your favorite toppings, from tangy lime to creamy mayo, chile powder, and shredded cotija cheese. While traditionally grilled, it can also be boiled for those who don’t want a mess. Every bite of Elotes takes you to warm summer nights filled with excitement in the city. 

Whether it’s the height of summer or the depths of winter, this grilled corn-on-the-cob dish provides a ray of sunshine in your life. It comes served on a stick or handle made from the husks.


Looking for a tasty and mess-free alternative to corn on the cob? Consider trying Esquites! These delicious kernels are removed from the cob, cooked to perfection, and served in a convenient cup. The most popular way to enjoy Esquites is served in a disposable cup, providing a uniquely irresistible experience.

Esquites are traditionally served hot, but can also be enjoyed cold based on your personal preference. No matter how you choose to indulge, we are confident that you will love every bite of this delightful treat.

What is Elotes?

Discover the beloved Mexican street food known as Elote: a deliciously savory and sweet corn dish that combines tangy and spicy flavors in one perfect bite. This summertime side dish features grilled corn smothered in mayonnaise, sprinkled with salty Cotija cheese, and seasoned with chili powder and fresh lime juice. Garnished with cilantro, Elote is the ultimate complement to any Mexican-inspired meal. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a mouthwatering treat. Indulge in the messy goodness that is Elote and savor every bite!

Different flavors of Elotes

In the regions of Central America and Mexico, except Panama, corn cob is known as “elote” which originates from the Nahuatl word “elotitutl” meaning “tender cob”. Likewise, this term is prevalent among the Mexican and Central American communities in the United States.

Throughout the Andean nations (excluding Colombia and Venezuela) as well as Uruguay and Paraguay, an ear of corn go by the name choclo, derived from the Quechua word chuqllu. However, in Venezuela, it is referred to as jojoto, while in Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Spain, it is known as mazorca.

Elote, a popular dish in El Salvador, Mexico, and the border states of the US, can be enjoyed as both sweet and salty. Typically boiled in water with various seasonings such as tequesquite, epazote, Santa Maria herb, or pericon, the boiled ear is then served with delectable condiments, including butter, mayonnaise, and grated cotija cheese. In Mexico, elote is often garnished with chile powder, lemon juice, and salt. You can also find elotes locos, or “crazy corn,” at town fairs in Mesoamerica, served on a stick and seasoned with mayonnaise, sweet and sour sauce, ketchup, and mustard.

The authentic taste of Mexico with elotes sold from street food carts by eloteros, available in various regions. Choose from small or large kernels and tailor your elote with seasonings such as sour cream, mayonnaise, liquid cheese, chile powder, grated cheese, or butter. Keeping the elotes hot in the brazier, they are typically served immediately after being cooked to ensure maximum flavor. Boiled and transported wrapped in husks, cooking them this way results in unparalleled flavor. Don’t miss out on this mouthwatering Mexican treat found only on the streets of Mexico!

Experience the savory taste of coal-grilled elotes, sold by the eloteros. These tasty treats are cooked to perfection in the coals until the kernels reach a satisfying crunch and the husks begin to burn. The tradition of grilling elote in Central America occurs during the first harvest of the year—from the end of June until the beginning of September. Drive by the cornfields during this time, and you’ll see women selling grilled elotes seasoned with lime juice and salt.

Choclo con queso, a grilled corn on the cob dish served with Peruvian salted cheese, is a beloved street food in Peru. This delicious delicacy is also a staple on inter-regional buses, making it easy to enjoy anywhere in the country.


Elotes: A Celebrated Corn Dish with Origins in Aztec Civilization

Elotes, a corn delicacy with roots in the Aztec civilization, has been a popular treat across Mexico and Central America for centuries. Indigenous tribes would sell corn cobs soaked in lime juice to commemorate the abundance of the harvest season.

Today, in the bustling streets of Mexico City, Elotes has taken on a creamy, savory twist, drawing in passersby with kiosks and spinning braziers that warm the delectable corn. Don’t miss out on this classic dish that combines tradition, culture, and taste!

Ingredient Notes

Corn: Discover the Secret to Mouth-Watering Elotes: Fresh Corn on The Grill. For elotes enthusiasts, the secret to achieving that real, authentic taste from Mexico lies in the quality of the corn used. If you’re looking to recreate the perfect dish, fear not because fresh sweet corn can still produce excellent results. However, grilling the corn is another important step in achieving a texture that closely resembles the charred kernels of traditional elotes in Mexico. Don’t settle for mediocre elotes – fresh and grilled corn will take your dish to the next level.

Mayonnaise: When it comes to crafting the perfect elote, there’s one ingredient that can make all the difference: mayonnaise. While some recipes may call for a mix of sour cream and mayo or even just sour cream alone, our taste tests have shown that mayo is the superior choice. Not only does it bring out the best in the other flavors, but it amplifies them in a way that sour cream simply cannot match. That being said, for those looking to lighten things up, sour cream or Greek yogurt can also do the trick. But if you want your elote to truly shine, don’t skimp on the mayo.

Chili powder: Enhance your elote with a kick of flavor by using a special chili powder such as ancho, guajillo, or chipotle. Alternatively, try Tajín for a zesty twist, blending chili powder and lime for a Mexican-inspired flavor infusion. Your taste buds will thank you for this elevated elote experience.

Spice level: Enhance your elote with a kick of flavor by using a special chili powder such as ancho, guajillo, or chipotle. Alternatively, try Tajín for a zesty twist, blending chili powder and lime for a Mexican-inspired flavor infusion. Your taste buds will thank you for this elevated elote experience.

Cotija cheese: a Mexican cheese with a unique salty flavor, is a must-have ingredient for many Mexican dishes. If you’re on the lookout for this cheese, you can most likely find it at your local well-stocked grocery store. At Whole Foods, for example, it’s commonly found near goat cheese. Mexican grocers, on the other hand, also carry Cotija cheese. However, if you’re having trouble finding it, don’t worry, you can substitute it with feta or Parmesan cheese, which are two excellent alternatives.

Cilantro: If cilantro doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to skip it.

What are Esquites?

If you’re looking for an alternative to messy corn-on-the-cob, consider trying Esquites. This delicious dish features corn kernels that have been stripped from the cob, boiled or sautéed, and then served in a convenient cup. Say goodbye to the hassle and enjoy the taste of Esquite today.

Mouthwatering mature corn kernels are combined with epazote and salt before being grilled to perfection or cooked with epazote. Served in small cups, Esquites are topped with chili peppers, lime juice, or cotija cheese – feel free to add sour cream, mayonnaise, or pequin chili powder to personalize to your liking. The name esquites originated from the Nahuatl word izquitl, which translates to toasted corn. Indulge in this authentic taste of Mexico today.

Esquites, the beloved Mexican street corn, is a staple food usually sold from mobile or stationary food carts found in public squares or outdoor markets and festivals throughout Mexican cities and towns. Grab a delicious ear and taste the authentic flavors of Mexico on the go.

Different flavors of Esquites

Esquites, a popular Mexican street food, is made from boiled white corn kernels that are cooked in water with salt and epazote. Butter and onions are sometimes added to the saute after boiling. These soft and tender kernels are typically served in plastic or styrofoam cups, or corn husks. 

Esquites can be personalized with toppings of your choice such as lime juice, chili powder, hot sauce, cotija cheese, and mayonnaise. 

Not to mention, some adventurous foodies enjoy their topping with Mexican Chapulines or crickets. 

Experience the modern twist with blended Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or Takis. Have fun trying out the countless variations of this unique and flavorful dish for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure!


Esquites: A Tale of Mexican and French Influences

Esquites, the beloved Mexican dish of toasted corn mixed with cheese, lime, and peppers, has a history that blends both Mexican and French cultures. According to one story, Emperor Maximillian and Empress Carlota of Mexico played a part in its creation in the late 1800s, adapting French cooking techniques and substituting corn flour for wheat flour. They even gave the dish a French name, “Odalisque teeth.”

However, there is an older tale that credits the food’s invention to Tlazocihuapilli of Xochimilcas, who created many other popular dishes. The name “Esquites” actually derives from the Nahuatl term “zquitl,” meaning “toasted corn.”

Regardless of its origins, Esquites have become a beloved delicacy with a rich cultural significance. Join in the tradition and savor its delicious flavors today.

Ingredients Notes

There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating Esquites. Recipes range from using only water, salt, and epazote to incorporating garlic and chile de arbol. Others prefer to add a touch of butter and onion, finishing off with a small amount of water to retain moisture. The choice is yours – let your inner chef come to life and determine your unique version. Cooking is all about having fun, so experiment and enjoy the process!

The corn – For a truly authentic flavor, fresh corn on the cob is a must-have ingredient. Choose white Mexican corn for the perfect balance between mealy and sweet flavors. If fresh corn isn’t an option, frozen or canned corn can suffice as an alternative, though it won’t quite match the same delicious taste.

Epazote – This versatile herb enhances the flavor of traditional Esquites and can be added while cooking the corn. While fresh is ideal, dried Epazote works just as well in a pinch. Don’t miss out on this game-changing herb, but fear not if you can’t find it – you can still enjoy the dish without it.

Butter, Onion, and Jalapeño – Enhance the flavor of your corn dish with the simple addition of butter, sautéed to perfection. Add onion and either jalapeño or serrano pepper for an extra kick of savory appeal. Elevate your cooking game with these easy steps to elevate your dish.

Toppings – Our toppings selection offers the perfect combination of zesty and savory flavors to enhance your dish. Enjoy a burst of fresh lime juice, aromatic cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, and a tantalizing mix of chili lime seasoning or tajin. Elevate your taste buds with these delicious toppings.

Mayonnaise – Enhance your Esquites recipe with the perfect creamy addition. While sour cream and mayo combo is often used, I conducted taste tests and found mayo to be the superior choice. Mayo intensifies the flavors of the dish while sour cream dulls them. Want to reduce the calories? Try sour cream or Greek yogurt instead. Regardless of your preference, your taste buds will thank you. Try it out today!

Is Mexican Street Corn Healthy?

Incorporating corn in your meals can provide your body with essential nutrients that support healthy vision. This starchy vegetable is packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that safeguard your eyes from damage. Rest assured that sweet corn isn’t a nutritional villain – it’s a nutritious addition to your diet when enjoyed as part of a balanced and diverse eating routine.

Elote, or Mexican street corn, is an incredibly delicious and popular snack. It’s also a healthier alternative to other fried snacks like churros and tacos. Elote can be cooked with minimal oil or butter, making it a nutritious treat loaded with vitamins and dietary fiber. Corn is a good source of carbohydrates and protein; when eaten in moderation, elote can be part of a balanced diet. The combination of lime juice, chili powder, cotija cheese, mayonnaise, and Epazote creates a flavorful mix that will tantalize your taste buds!

Esquites are rich in antioxidants as well as minerals such as zinc, potassium, and magnesium. They are also low in fat and sodium while providing complex carbs for energy. All of these nutrients help keep your body healthy and full of energy. So, indulge in this delicious Mexican street corn without guilt; it’s good for you!

So next time you’re out looking for a snack, grab some esquites or elote, season it with lime juice and salt, and enjoy the flavors of Mexico! You won’t regret it.


What to Serve with Elote?

In Mexico, eloteros are street vendors who whip up antojitos, or “little cravings”, including the delicious elote sweet-corn snack. This treat is perfect either as a snack, a late-night bite, or even a side dish to complement a Mexican-inspired meal. Additionally, it’s a fantastic food choice for barbecues! If you’re wondering what’s best to pair with elote, you can never go wrong with these entrées: Burrito Bowls, Chilaquiles, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, and Tacos.

This delectable Elotes Mexican street corn can be enjoyed as the main course or as a side dish. In case you’re looking for some pairings to complement its rich flavors, some main dishes that would go perfectly with it include Steak Fajitas, pork Carnitas, smothered honey lime chicken burritos, and crockpot cafe Rio copycat chicken. Satisfy your taste buds with these delicious dishes!

Why Is Esquite Called Mexican Street Corn?

Esquites is a popular Mexican snack made of sautéed corn kernels mixed with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, lime juice, chili powder, and Epazote. It has become known as ‘Mexican street corn’ because these mouth-watering corn kernels are a popular delicacy among street food vendors in Mexican cities and towns, who sell them from food carts that are set up on the roadside. From busy markets to bustling festivals, you’ll find esquites being served for a true taste of Mexico.

How to Jazz Up Esquites?

Sweet corn in season is the star of the show in esquites, so achieving great flavor is easy. For a slightly smoky taste, we recommend grilling the corn, but you can also boil it briefly and remove the kernels. Alternatively, you can try sautéing the kernels with garlic, shallot, and scallion. 

While cotija cheese is the standard in esquites, queso fresco can offer a lighter and creamier texture. 

For those who crave heat, chopped jalapeño or serrano peppers can be substituted (or added to) the scallions. For a more distinct smoky element, try chipotle pepper, or for a different, equally delicious spin, use a combination of mild to hot chili powder with spices like ancho chili.

What Is the Alternate Name for Elote?

It is Mexican Corn on the Cob. Elote, the beloved street food in Mexico City, is a must-try for any foodie. Grilled to perfection, it is typically served on a stick and generously topped with chili, cheese, and sour cream. Known also as Mexican Corn on the Cob, elote is a simple yet flavorful treat, perfect for any summer lunch or snack. Don’t miss out on this popular street food experience in Mexico City.

What Are Korean Esquites?

Korean esquites are a savory dish made by boiling corn and then cooking it with a mix of fresh vegetables and aromatic seasonings. The perfect accompaniment to this corn-based sensation is a spicy gochujang sauce, offering a burst of vibrant flavors, though it can also be enjoyed alone or with other tempting sauces. Indulge in the unique flavor that Korean esquites can bring to your taste buds!

What Is Street Corn?

Street Corn, also known as Mexican elote, Mexican food corn, or Mexicorn on the cob, is a simple yet delectable dish. It consists of corn on the cob slathered in a tasty sauce of mayo and sour cream, garnished with crumbly cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. Indulge in the flavors of Mexico with this mouthwatering snack.

What is the difference between Mexican corn and regular corn?

Mexican corn, also known as “teocintle,” is a product of the ancient domestication process in Mexico. The people cultivated teocintle, a grass similar to the modern rice plant where the grains develop in a cluster on a stalk. The remarkable dissimilarity between teocintle and corn is the cob, which corn has and teocintle does not possess.

Is Mexican corn and fiesta corn the same?

Mexican corn is also known as “fiesta corn” or “Elote,” which is an ear of corn usually boiled or grilled and served with a variety of Mexican sauces. Fiesta Corn can either be plain ears of cooked sweetcorn, or it can also refer to a type of prepared ready-to-eat snack made from sweetcorn, chili peppers, and lime juice. The flavors are typically bold and spicy. Fiesta Corn stands out from regular corn because its seasoning has a unique combination of salty, tart, spicy, and sweet elements. It’s sure to add a flavorful Mexican twist to any dish!

What does canned Mexican corn have in it?

Canned Mexican Corn, also known as “Elote en Lata,” is a popular type of canned corn in Mexico. It is usually packed in a spicy tomato broth and has a unique blend of chili peppers, onions, garlic, lime juice, and other seasonings for extra flavor.

For more information, the classic canned version of Mexicorn is composed of a savory blend of corn kernels, vibrant green and red bell peppers, water, sugar, and salt.

The mixture of sweetcorn with savory flavors makes it an ideal side dish or topping for tacos or nachos. Canned Mexican Corn is a convenient way to get the same great taste and texture of freshly prepared Elote without all the hassle!


All in all, Mexican corn dishes like elote and esquites are full of rich flavor with a variety of different accompaniments. From limes and hot sauces to chili powders and crumbled queso fresco, there’s a whole world of flavors to explore when trying out these traditional snacks.

Whether you prefer to eat it off a stick or out of a cup, the variety of ingredients means that every elote or esquites experience will be unique! For Mexicans all around the world, this delightful snack is essential for any summer gathering or cultural celebration. And for everyone else, don’t miss out on experiencing the delicious flavors of Mexican corn – your taste buds won’t regret it!

If you want to know more information, visit our website here.


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