CORNUCOPIA: Elotes Taste Test

Whenever I’m in Mexico those street-cart “elotes” are such a treat. There is something about rolling up your sleeves and munching on a fresh-roasted rustic ear of corn slathered with crema and crumbled fragrant cheese that makes you feel like you are experiencing the real culture and cuisine of Mexico.

I decided to try my hand (and grill) at making a homemade version, but the recipes out there in the food blog world were quite varied. Most recommend mayonnaise (Homesick Texan), and (Serious Eats) or sour cream (Big Oven) and (Serious Eats). All recommended lime juice, fragrant cheese (either Queso Cotija, Parmesan even Feta) and a sprinkling of chile powder. One recommends cutting the corn off the cob into a styrofoam cup just like “the best freaking thing on earth you can buy on a street corner.” Amen!

But somewhere I had read Crema Mexicana, which you can now sometimes buy in a regular grocery store or you can always buy at a Latino market, was delicious with elotes. This is a thickened sweet (NOT sour) cream.

I taste-tested all three – mayonnaise, sour cream and crema. They were all good. Mayo was just a little on the oily side. Sour cream had too much sourness if you use lime also, which is wonderful on elotes. We liked Crema Mexicana the best, but use any of the three for a fabulous, rustic corn dish.


8 freshly picked ears of corn
4 limes, cut in half
1/2 cup Crema Mexicana (or mayonnaise or sour cream)
4 ounces crumbled Queso Cotija (or finely crumbled Parmesan or feta cheese)
Chile powder, salt and pepper to taste

Shuck ears of corn and cook on a very hot grill, turning frequently, until slightly charred and kernels of corn are softened.

Remove from heat, squeeze lime juice on corn and immediately slather with crema. Then sprinkle with cheese, chile powder, salt and pepper to taste.

— posted by Donna


  1. says

    Maiz is Spanish for corn. But, elotes are the tasty treats on a stick that Mexicans go loco for. And, in Mexico they are ALL about the mayo!!


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