What's the Difference Between Elotes and Esquites?
It is not hard to get elotes and esquites mixed up as there is almost no difference in the ingredient list. However, there is one major difference and that is how it is served. Elotes are probably the most popular or at least what is seen most often served on a street corner on the cob.
It is probably the most popular just because it can be eaten with one hand, which would mean that esquites are served in a bowl. Again, these two share the exact same ingredients, it is just the manner in which you serve it that makes all the difference.
What Does Esquites Mean?
The word esquites has a long history. A much longer history than Mexico itself actually. The origin of esquites comes from an old Aztec word meaning “toasted corn”. This suits the dish quite well since toasted corn is that main ingredient.
Is Esquites Served Hot or Cold?
Esquites like its close cousin elotes, is best served either warm or at room temperature. This is so that the bold flavors do not get muddled up in a cold dish.
How Do You Eat Esquites?
The only way that esquites cannot be eaten is like its cousin elotes that is still on the cob. Esquites are generally served in a bowl so feel free to dig in how you see fit.
Who Invented Esquites?
Legend has it that this delicious dish was brought about by the Aztecs during the rule of Tlaxocihualpili between the years of 1335 and 1347. Apparently back then the recipe consisted of chopped onion, fried green chile, and chicken. It is assumed that the recipe was cut down since poor people on the streets did not raise chickens.
What Cheese Can I Substitute for Cotija?
One of the best things about cooking is that you can choose to add or change up anything you want to any recipe. With that being said if you are just looking for a direct substitute for cotija there are a few options to choose from.
The most direct substitute is queso fresco. This cheese is creamy but has a hint of saltiness. It is a little bit drier than cotija but has a more pronounced flavor. Another great substitute, though not necessarily in traditional Mexican food, is feta cheese. Feta is rich, with hints of salt like queso fresco it is super creamy and will lend itself well to esquites.