The corn concoction, whether in the cup or on the cob, is called elotes (Spanish for “corn on the cob”). It is sold on street corners all over Chicago, along with chicharrones, fresh fruit sprinkled with hot salt, and snow cones. The usual recipe is corn, mayonnaise, squeeze margarine, lime juice, grated cotijo chees, and a sprinkle of chile powder. I always get mine stripped from the cob and served in the cup. I’ve watched others try to eat elotes from the cob and, let’s just say, it’s not “first date food”.
My main gripe with street cart elotes is the quality of the corn. The vendors are either using frozen cobs that have been sitting for ages in water, getting soggy to the point of mush, or they’re using what I call “horse corn”; the flavorless stuff usually reserved for animal feed. I’ve done home made versions of elotes using peak of the season, sweet, fresh ears that are worlds apart from the cart stuff. Still. if I see somebody busting their butt trying to make a living, and if I’m looking for a snack, I’ll pick up a cup of elotes off the street.
Nice report, looking forward to more.