Elotes preparados, Mexico

Another delicious treat from Mexico’s streets is the elotes preparados, sold everywhere in any city by eloteros pushing their wheeled carts.

Elotero is the name given to the person selling elotes, a word from the náhuatl elotl, which means ‘tender ear of maize‘. Needless to say, elote is the Mexican Spanish word for corn or maize.

On their carts, these hawkers carry a large pot of hot water, full of boiled ears of corn, with a small grill with embers. There, you can ask for an elote preparado or an esquite. If you choose elote preparado, they pull a maize ear from the pot and grill it until it is slightly toasted:

After roasting, the elotero either stabs the bottom with a wooden stick, or uses the husk of the cob that has been pulled down to make a handle; then coats the kernels with condiments such as chili powder, butter, cheese, lime juice, mayonnaise, and even sour cream or a few drops of Guacamaya sauce… the choices are on you!

Here in Culiacán, eloteros usually pop up during the weekends at the Malecón Viejo, a centric avenue where it gets busy with food stalls and regional munchies. And of course, among them, elotes and esquites!

Featured images courtesy of Jenny Konrad and the CIMMYT, @Flickr under CC license.

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