It had been one of those hectic days when I didn’t have time to cook anything. My cena (dinner) consisted of a jicama salad and a couple of corn quesadillas. I wanted something more filling before going to bed and I knew exactly what to get. I put on my shoes and decided to wander the streets of my colonia (neighboorhood) until I found it. I was certain I was going to find some. They are a very popular snack in Mexico and food is abundant on the streets of Mexico City.
After walking a couple of blocks east of my apartment building without any success I had the bright idea to walk towards the metro station. Subway entrances are always magnets for street vendors. My decision was rewarded. about 20 yards before turning the corner to the busy street where the entrance is located I could already smell the sweet aroma of the food of my desire. A second later I spotted it. A large steaming metal pot was the source of the delicious smell. I had found my esquites.
“One cup of esquites con todo, por favor“, I asked the vendor to give me a cup with everything on it, chilli powder, salt, lime juice and mayonnaise. The first bite I took reminded me of the reasons I had to come back to this chaotic and dysfunctional city: that simple, yet gloriously decadent, folk food. I certainly am in foodie heaven.
Esquites (aka ezquites) is one of my favorite ways to eat corm. The way to make them is as simple as boiling, toasting or frying corn kernels with epazote, and onion and adding salt, lime juice, chilli powder and mayonnaise when serving. I know what you’re thinking, mayonnaise with corn, really? But trust me, they pair perfectly. Just ask Jon, a former skeptic of the combination who is now a huge fan.
Esquite vendors will usually also sell elotes, corn on the cob, either boiled or roasted (usually on charcoal), spread with mayo and sprinkled with chilli powder and cheese. I have posted a recipe for esquites before and a couple of recipes for corn on the cob. I leave you the links so you can make at home these simple and delicious dishes:
- Esquites con chorizo
- Roasted garlic corn (not exactly a Mexican recipe, but still very delicious)
- Spicy mayo on corn