La Michoacana has been on my Memphis to do list since I arrived here this past June. I would hear endless raving about their paletas and how I had to go, especially from my students. This week I drove over after school to treat myself to some favorites from my childhood. La Michoacana is a hot spot in the neighborhood my school is in and had it been summertime, I’m sure I would’ve run into my students and their families there.
“But Bianca, it’s December, what are you doing getting a paleta in this weather?” That’s where you are mistaken, my faithful Choose901 reader (thanks for the love so far <3) I did not get a paleta. Although they’re known for their delicious Mexican frozen treats, La Michoacana offers a whole array of Mexican snacks and comfort food that most Memphians may not think about or heard of when someone mentions this popular Summer Ave. establishment.
I treated myself to a cup of corn, or elote. Before you think I’m crazy and think this is a weird Midwestern thing we have about corn and cornfields up there, this snack is legendary in the Mexican community. Mexicans have created an amazing concoction with what many in Memphis may just eat as a side at summer barbecues.
In Chicago, eloteros or literally, corn men, have carts that they push down the block in the summers, selling yummy goodies like shaved ice, traditional sweets, Mexican fried snacks, and of course, elote. You can either eat it on the cob or have the elotero put everything in a cup for you. They’ll then add any of the following toppings to your steaming cob or cup of corn: lime juice, chili powder, mayonnaise, butter, queso cotija, and sour cream. The heartbreaking moments of my childhood were the days I would chase after the elotero down the block but it’d be too late…there would be no elote that day. This simple yet treasured snack takes me back to cool summer evenings sitting on the stoop out front and waiting to hear the bells or honking of the elotero’s cart horn.
I also ordered an horchata which was hands down the best horchata I’ve had in Memphis, it hit all the right notes: a lush and creamy taste with the perfect touch of cinnamon. I may just drive over during my lunch break to get that horchata to get me through my afternoon stretch. Try out any of their fresh fruit cups with a spicy twist to them, like the chamoyada, one of my favorites. Mango topped with chamoy and tajin, it’ll be my next order the next time I head over.
With the cold weather coming in, La Michoacana can also satisfy this season’s cravings. If you haven’t had elote and indulged in other Mexican snacks and comfort food, check out La Michoacana, they are more than just their paletas! I’ll catch you there during your lunch break.