The Relationship Test: Candy Corn Elotes

If you want to be a well-respected food blogger, every now and then you need to tell people that you have your own take on a Mexican street food staple, elotes.

Then you must accept the round of applause that follows, since you have obviously watched Food Network and become an expert on Mexican cuisine. Soon after, you will be flooded for offers for your own television show, and you will know the true burden of success.

If you do not know what elotes are, this is okay. 

If you already know what elotes are, that is okay too. I forgive you.

Elotes are corn on the cob, covered in a layer of mayo, butter, cotija cheese, lime juice, and spicy pepper powder. You know I am truly the greatest writer in the world when I italicize the word elotes to denote that this word is from a different language. This is a trick many writers use to make you feel bad for not knowing what a word means. Do not let them make you feel like you are inferior. Love yourself.

I prefer elotes in a cup and not on the cob, because that way I don’t look like I’ve gotten a mayonnaise facial after eating them. Back in the old days, your mother’s nickname was Elotes because she loved being rolled in mayo and butter while being sprayed with lime juice. But those days are long gone.

The truth is, I sent your mother back to Mordor, where she truly belongs.

As you know, whimsy is an important part about being a food blogger.

A lot of times, this whimsy can be whipped up by combining multiple foods that do not belong together by pretending they are a delightful take on a classic dish.

So I said, “Dannis Ree, you are the greatest food writer that has ever existed. Nobody can match your culinary genius, rakish good looks, and enormous testicle. What is something you can do to dominate every other food blogger, ever?”

Actually, I do not have a cool story about coming up with this idea for Candy Corn Elotes. It just sounded stupid and all of you seem to like it when I go off the rails for no reason. Besides, candy corn just came into season.

I never understood why candy corn was described as corn, until someone showed me a picture of all the candy corn in a wheel.

It looks like the cross-section of a corn cob, which I think is cute! Another cute thing is to shove a bunch of candy corn up your ass and shoot it out, pretending you are the human equivalent of a Gatling gun.

One really interesting thing about my cat, Cricket, is that her favorite food is actually candy corn.

Yoko, er, Davida, got to witness this firsthand.

Davida: I had seen Cricket eat candy corn a few times prior to this experiment (and have even earned my place as the fun parent who lets her have slightly more than Dennis does), and I can say that this picture pretty much sums up her reaction whenever she’s anywhere near it. Cricket loves candy corn more than I love Dennis.

Also, let’s talk about this depressing lime I left out on the counter for over a week.

Maybe I left it out for much longer than that. I don’t know. I live in squalor.

The first thing you need to do is add a healthy spoonful of mayo to the corn.

This is a no-cook recipe, which means I’m basically just going to describe each step for no reason to inflate the word count of this post.

Now you need to add a shitload of butter to the corn.

Whenever I order elotes, the vendor usually uses margarine, adding about the same volume of margarine as there is corn. This is not a time to complain. This is the time to celebrate the fact that you will be ingesting a truly impressive amount of calories. Harvey and Mr. Bee really like the squiggles.

Sprinkle some cotija cheese on the top.

Be generous, too. Cotija is a crumbly salty cheese, kind of like parmesan. If you want to ensure that your recipe will be well-respected, you need to keep a few ingredients that you can claim are authentic.

I got some cotija on Harvey.

The elotes vendor will usually ask if you want red pepper powder on top, or they’ll just do it for you.

It’s usually a spicy red pepper powder, so be careful. In order to test if it is spicy, dab a little of it directly onto any of your orifices.

That’s it! Here is the finished version of Candy Corn Elotes.

I only put cilantro leaves on it to make it look nice. Putting no-reason garnishes on food for photos is essential for food blogging success. This is when you take pictures to put them on Instagram, where you will be known as an influencer.

Influencers take posed pictures of food in order to get a lot of things like free meals, extravagant swag from big brands, and yes, money. If you decide to become one of these extremely important people, it is necessary for you to talk about yourself all the time, and how much better you are than everyone else.

I am a penis, so I roped Davida into trying this horrific recipe with me.

Feeding your loved one garbage is the true test of a relationship. Healthy relationships involve the sharing of affection and love. Ours involves me sharing my culinary vision of hell with her. Have I mentioned she’s never had elotes before?

Davida: You didn’t rope me into anything! I jumped into this ass-first. I’m from a town of 8,500ish, about 8,499 of which are white people. The only Mexican restaurant in town (aside from Taco Bell, which was a BIG FUCKING DEAL when we got one) opened up less than five years ago and still seems to garner a lot of vague distrust (it’s good, if anyone is wondering).

Anyway, the only time I was consistently within 20 miles of elotes was when I lived in Las Vegas, which was six months of being too hungover to function and thus not very interested in hunting for any food that wasn’t a Sausage and Egg McMuffin.

Okay, okay, I felt guilty about this.

They taste almost like the real thing, until you start chewing and you realize you are eating actual horror. Mayonnaise, margarine, cotija, and candy corn made me gag, so naturally I ate a lot of it. There is nothing good about this slimy, fatty, salty, sweet, chewy, mixture. Plus, candy corn on its own tastes like general disappointment. I do not understand why my cat likes it so much.

Davida: I was incredibly anxious about trying it, initially. Sometimes my seven-year-old niece does this thing where she starts hopping around and half-crying when she’s uncomfortable or stressed, like when my brother turns his eyelids inside out or when she listens to the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” I was seriously halfway to this reaction while waiting to try the candy corn elotes.

[A note from Dannis: She was honest-to-God very scared.]

Looking at my notes, apparently my initial reactions were:

  • “fuck, fuck, fuck”
  • tastes like depression”
  • I had to work to swallow it”
  • “I’m single now”

I did try it again, a little more slowly. Once it was chewed up, the sweetness of the candy corn didn’t work too horribly with the mayo. The lime added kind of a cool dimension to an otherwise rich mixture. If you don’t know me, I’m the kind of person who digs unreasonably deep to try to the find the good in a bad situation, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt and a squeeze of lime.

Thank God for optimism.

After I ruined Davida’s first experience with elotes, here is her adorable expression after trying the real version for the first time and being retroactively disgusted by what we did yesterday.

She’s never going to forgive me.

Candy Corn Elotes

  • One cup candy corn
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 20 cups butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon cotija cheese
  • Chili pepper powder to taste
  • Squeeze lime juice
  • No-reason garnish, like whole cilantro plants, roots and all

Mix everything together. Feed mixture to the one you love. Watch your relationship die on the vine.


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