Most people in North America view corn on the cob as a tasty late-summer treat to enjoy during a barbecue. It's common to slather some butter onto the corn and perhaps top it with salt and pepper. What you might not realize, however, is that corn on the cob can be immeasurably more exciting when you visit an authentic Mexican restaurant. Look for something called "elote" on the menu, whether you're dining in or stopping at a Mexican eatery for takeout. Elote is a corn-on-the-cob dish that looks and tastes unique. The toppings on the corn will vary between eateries, but here are some things you'll often encounter.
Crema Or Mayo
Mexican elote typically has crema brushed onto it to provide flavor and also to hold the many other toppings that will soon follow. Crema shares many similarities with sour cream, adding a richness to the corn that you'll appreciate. While a lot of Mexican restaurants will use crema, you'll find some that rely on mayonnaise in this role.
Elote has many different spices that help to pack each bite with flavor, as well as add color. The spices can vary based on which specific elote option you order, but chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder are all common. If you're a fan of spicy flavors, look for an elote that has chili powder made from one or more hot types of chili peppers.
You'll find cheese in all sorts of Mexican dishes, including elote. The common cheese for this dish is cotija, which offers a unique flavor and consistency. Unlike conventional cheeses that you get on enchiladas and nachos, cotija doesn't melt when it's warm. This means that instead of the cheese becoming gooey and coating the corn, it maintains more of a crumbly consistency.
Cilantro And Lime
One of the things that many people enjoy about eating elote is how each bite has a variety of different flavors. It's common to find fresh cilantro sprinkled over the elote right before it's served. This green herb not only adds a splash of brightness but also provides a fresh taste that you may enjoy. Elote often has lime juice drizzled on it, too. Depending on where you're dining, you may get a few lime pieces so that you can add the lime yourself. The splash of tangy citrus serves as a tasty complement to the other ingredients. Be sure to look for elote on the menu during your next authentic Mexican restaurant outing.