By: Maribel and Taina
Ecuador enjoys putting its own twist on South American favorites, as well as making some pretty unique dishes of its own. Ecuadorian food is diverse and underrated. With three different regions in the mainland – coast, highlands, and rainforest – the typical cuisine varies across the country with delicious regional specialties and different typical dishes in the sierra and the coast. Unlike other Spanish root country’s food in Ecuador is generally simple but tasty and rarely spicy.
Across the country you’ll find a broad spectrum of national and regional dishes, including shrimp, toasted corn and pastries stuffed with spiced meats. No matter where you go, rice seems to be a staple part of the diet, since it’s usually served with almost everything. If you’re feeling a bit courageous, you may even put yourself to test with roasted cuy (guinea pig).
Ecuador is also known for its fabulous exotic fruits, high-quality fish and seafood, and the countless varieties of Andean potatoes. Ecuadorian food may not have the greatest reputation but there’s still a range of traditional Ecuadorian dishes we’ll like to try . Something we’ve been excited to try out is a mouth-watering dessert called Espumillas. The word espumillas means “little sponge” in Spanish, and refers to what most people know to be “meringues.” At first glance you would assume it’s ice cream but it’s actually just guava meringue cream served at room temperature .
For those on a budget, the best way to stretch your money would be to visit street markets. In my recent travels I’ve noticed it’s a big risk (hygiene), but a good rule to probably follow would be the “locals rule” -if the place is frequented by many locals, the food probably merits joining the crowd. As a frequent flyer to Mexico, I’ve always enjoyed embracing all of the culture that surrounds a market in such an amazing way, so I can’t wait to embrace Quito’s diverse markets.
Our destination of choice, Quito,varies in typical foods. Meals are often dependent on the city’s inhabitants and their surroundings. A major staple in Quito includes Lucro, a thick stew containing classic corn, beans, and potato or pumpkin. This dish is often served with an avocado, a highly sought after vegetable in Latin countries. As we get closer to our departure date (3 more months!!) we get more and more excited for this delightful opportunity.