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What are guajolotas or esquites?

There is no doubt that when you arrive to Mexico City and take an early walk, you realize that the most crowded spots, whether is near the Subway, corporate offices, shops or almost in every corner, are street vendors with aluminum barrels and a big bag of bolillos (bread rolls). Those cans are full of tamales and atole champurrado (chocolate cornflour drink).

Tamales are made out of corn dough, filled either with sweet or spicy food such as mole, rajas (peppers) or green chili, wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves, the last ones are usually filled with mole. The other barrel is filled with atole, a drink made out of corn, chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, milk or water. The ingredients may depend on each vendor, since these products are homemade.

When you order a “guajolota”, you will get a bread roll, filled with a tamal. There are several versions of origin for the term “guajolota”, but the most popular is that natives ate bread filled with chicken or turkey. Turkey, is usually called guajolote in México.

Unlike tamales that you will find early in the morning, if you want to try “esquites” and “elotes” (popcorn and corn cob), other Mexican ancestral snacks, you will have to wait till the evening.

The eloteros (people who sell the corn) usually set up outside bakeries or shops. Popcorn are corn kernels seasoned with wormseed, salt and other spices, you can add lemon, mayonnaise and chili. Corn cobs are served in a wooden stick so you can easily eat them and they are usually seasoned as corn kernels or with whatever spices you prefer. They are delicious!