Mayonnaise Allows Delicious Herbs And Seasonings To Stick To Corn On The Cob

Butter may be your go-to for slathering on a tasty ear of corn on the cob, but mayonnaise is what you really need. Corn on the cob is a favorite grilled treat, but in the U.S. it spent a long time limited to the simple conception of corn with a little salt and butter. Tasty for sure, but not unlocking the true, full potential of grilled corn. Thankfully our neighbors to the south have a long history with corn and know how to properly mix it up. Elotes — that Mexican classic street food combination of grilled corn with mayo, herbs, chile powder, lime juice, and cotija cheese — is the ultimate example of what corn on the cob can be, and it all works because of the mayonnaise.

Mayo does everything butter does for corn, but it has a lot more staying power. Both bring some fatty elements that are great for making corn extra flavorful and rich, but mayo has a deeper taste that adds more complexity than butter. As anyone who's ever put mayo on grilled cheese knows, the oil-based condiment browns better when exposed to heat. Most importantly for customizing your corn, mayo clings way better to different toppings and seasonings than butter does. The thicker mayo is especially great for heavier things like cheese or bacon bits, which would slide off the more liquidy melted butter.

Mayonnaise makes corn endlessly customizable

The basic elote recipe is well established, but it's only the beginning of what you can do with mayonnaise and corn. Some places you get elotes will use Tajin instead of other chile powders, and you can transform that spicy and citrus combo into an American variation with lemon pepper seasoning instead. Or make a corn and seafood chowder variation with some Old Bay. The power of mayo to hold crumbled ingredients also means you can bring extra texture to corn on the cob. An internet favorite is to make a powder out of Flamin' Hot Cheetos for street corn, but you can get both flavor and crunch by rolling your mayo-slathered corn in crumbled tortilla or potato chips.

Of course you don't need to limit yourself to the Americas. Flavorful grated aged cheeses like parmesan, Romano, or gruyere will bring an extra umami nuttiness to corn. Hot sauce is a great addition to corn and mayo, so why not bring in the amazing flavors of gochujang or sriracha into your mayonnaise when you spread it on? You can also bring the fresh flavors of Middle Eastern salads with an avalanche of herbs like parsley, dill, and mint, and then lemon juice, which will balance out the savoriness of the corn and mayo. In fact, when it comes to this combo, if it sticks, it's probably worth trying.