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Learn the history behind “elotes” and how to make grilled Mexican street corn to fit your tastes.
Known fondly as “elotes,” this grilled corn delicacy was customarily sold as a street food in Mexico. The dish has been handed down through the generations, and today, it’s a favorite in Texas as well. Much like modern fair food, vendors skewer one end of the cob so that it can be held easily in hand and smear on cotija cheese, sour cream or crema, chile powder, cilantro, and lime. Hundreds of variations exist and we’ve broken them down from the tried‑and‑true to a Texan spinoff to a takeout option.
How to Grill Mexican Street Corn
The dish is simple to make. It starts with grilled or roasted corn cobs and a mixture of mayonnaise and sour cream. The cobs are brushed with the creamy compound, rolled in cotija cheese, and sprinkled with chili powder. Over the years, ingredients have been subbed in and out. Our traditional variation, for instance, uses Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream to be calorie conscious. Other varieties amp up the recipe with garlic powder or ancho flakes. Don’t have cotija cheese? Swap in Feta instead!
Elotes to Go
While we think half the fun of elotes is eating them on a skewer, some serve the roasted corn cut off the cob into a "to-go" cup with toppings of crema, cotija cheese and chili powder. Try it for a to-go, less messy, twist on Mexican-style corn.
Here are a few of our favorite Grilled Street Corn Recipes:
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