Okay kids, lets lower those voices, class is about to begin. Ahem. Thank you all for showing up to yet another lesson in the Eastside 101 lecture series, an online extension program of the UGTWHTUPAY4 university. For those of you that have been taking notes, this series was started some time ago over at blogging.la as a way to shine some light on the life of those on the Eastside, that seemingly invisible place just on the other side of the river. Though the original mission of this series seems to have served its purpose (namely, defending the definition of the term Eastside) I still have a few insights and tips to share with all of you that might be interested. I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t unintentionally give away some secrets!
Oh yeah, the subject this time is Elotes!
It’s either bells or horns. When you feel just a bit peckish, you somehow focus on the sounds of an ambulante going by, in this case it was the constant squeezing of a bike horn, which now that I think about it, I haven’t seen on a bike in a long time. I prefer it when they yell out their product (“Paletas, que ricas paletas!” “Tamales! Champurrado!”) but you eventually learn the walking patterns of your preferred vendor. This guy was new to me, but he conveniently showed up at the laundromat when I was needing a bite to eat.
“Raspados, Elotes, y Chicharron.” The chicharron was the wheat based fried food (no pork in it) but I went with the elote, the food of my people. And the food of cheapos as well. “Un elote, con todo.”
In the pic above, the elotero is pounding a holding stick into the corn, assuming you can see thru blue coolers like I can.
When I was in High School, we used to laugh at these corn concoctions, especially cuz of the mayonesa. Mayonnaise on a corn? That’s disgusting! But eventually, I tried one and it turned out I liked it, I guess my days of snide jokes against these corns were over. I’ll manage. After the holding stick, the next step is a solid layering of that mayonesa. Recoil in disgust. That other dude in the pic was telling the elotero “he’s gonna steal your secret recipe!” Jaja, that was pretty funny.
And then a solid bath of grated queso cotija, aka “queso de pata”. It certainly smells like feet, but that aged cheese is much more delectable than your friends feet. I’m just assuming.
I was talking a bit with the “he’s stealing your recipe” guy and I missed taking the picture of the Parkay margarine pouring, basically about three solid rows of margarine on top of that mayo-cheese layer. And here you can see the expert application of chile powder onto the elote, that last bit of spiciness is what ties the whole thing together. I assume he puts the corn down in that spot just to avoid any wind gusts, chile powder isn’t cheap.
How much did this power cob cost? A simple dollar.
Yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh or retch, the idea of this street food is kinda atrocious. But once you bite into the sweet tender corn, slathered in all those oils and chile, the flavor combinations just prove that somebody thought this shit out. It’s not something you’d make at home, but this concoction of taste and sustenance is assuredly worth that lonely dollar you have in the pocket. I was gonna take a picture of the kernel-less cob but I forgot. Please forgive me.