All you need is an anafre (portable charcoal-burning stove) and a stainless steel pot to prepare one of the favorite types of street food in Mexico.
  • It is one of the most popular forms of street food.
  • In northern Mexico it is known as "shelled corn".

How can it be so simple and so delicious? Esquites are the perfect example of how the power of flavor resides in simplicity. Corn kernels boiled in water with salt and epazote leaves, dressed with powdered chile, salt, lime, and mayonnaise are the ingredients of this classic dish in Mexico City, which tends to be eaten in the afternoon in public plazas.


Faithful companions to boiled corn on the cob sold at street stands, they are also found in covered markets and street markets. And of course, the evening call of street vendors on Fridays and Saturdays offering this delicacy from small trucks in popular neighborhoods.

Even though it is most common to find it in central Mexico, today it is sold throughout the country. In Oaxaca and Chiapas they tend to serve it without the soup in which it was cooked and instead serve it piled up on corn leaves. In Chihuahua, for example, the mixture is thicker than in other states; while in Aguascalientes it is known as chascas.

Their origin is pre-Hispanic and esquites have become such a popular street food in Mexico’s gastronomic culture that restaurants are succumbing to the temptation of offering it on their menus. Pujol makes its own highly particular version: one of its signature dishes is corn with mayonnaise and leaf-cutter ant salt. Spanish chef Pedro Martin became such a fan of esquites that he decided to make a fusion with olives.

Relevant Facts: 
  • In Mexico there are different versions of esquites.
  • In some places they are sautéed with lard and in others they are boiled with chicken feet and gizzards.