Most Americans are familiar with corn on the cob. However, this dish is often served differently in Mexican restaurants. If you’re looking for a new dish to try or just want to learn more about your favorite Mexican street corn, here’s a guide to where this popular dish came from. 

Where Did It Originate?

Elote simply translates to “corn” in Spanish. It evolved from the word “elotitutl,” which meant “tender cob.” In early Latin American culture, this word was used to convey that the crop was easy to transport and enjoy for tribes that were constantly on the go. 

Elote goes all the way back to the Aztec civilization, and its popularity was well known throughout Mexico and Central America. Indigenous tribes would grow the crop and enjoy it on their journeys, but many would also sell and barter with it if there was a particularly successful harvest. Eventually, the crop spread to North America after Christopher Columbus landed on the continent. 

What Is Modern Elote Like?

mexican street corn

Today, elote continues to be a popular staple at Mexican restaurants, food stands, and vendors throughout the Americas. It is often included as a side dish or snack. It is especially popular at mobile restaurants since it can be served in a portable container, so people can easily enjoy it on the go. 

Elote starts with a small piece of corn on the cob. The exact toppings vary, but it is usually covered in mayonnaise or crema, cotija cheese, salt, cilantro, cayenne pepper, and lime juice. For those who want to enjoy Mexican street corn as a mobile dish, a wooden stick is added to the center, and the corn is placed in a small paper container. 


If you’re interested in trying Mexican street corn, check out Antojitos LindaMar Mesa in Arizona. The mobile restaurant offers an array of Mexican street food favorites prepared with fresh, authentic ingredients. You can enjoy a full meal, midday snack, or even happy hour specials. Visit the Facebook page to see upcoming stops or call (480) 274-8185 to speak with a team member.