10 Ecuadorian foods you need to try during your stay
The Ecuadorian kitchen is not very well known if you are not familiar with a little bit of the Andes culture. However it very important for family here, because they really like to share a good meal with family or friends. What’s better than a good little dish to learn more about this rich culture?
Today we are going to present you some of the most famous meals from all around the Ecuador. Sometimes you will find one of them only in a certain area of the country. It is mainly due to the different regions (The Amazon, the Sierra and the Pacific Coast).
Across the country you’ll find a broad spectrum of national and regional dishes, including shrimp, toasted corn and pastries stuffed with spiced meats.
Soups are without doubt Ecuador’s specialty. Most lunches and dinners are accompanied by a savory soup as the first course. Locro, made with cheese, avocado and potato, sounds a bit odd, but is actually quite tasty.
Caldo de bolas de verde // green plantain dumpling soup
Caldo de bolas or sopa de bolas de verde is a typical soup from the Coastal region in Ecuador. It is a soup made with dumplings or balls made from Green plantains and mixed with meat and vegetables. It is served in a beef broth with corn and yuca. You can serve it with lemon and Aji hot sauce (an Ecuadorian hot sauce made with hot peppers, cilantro, garlic, onion and lime).
Fried cheese empanadas // Empanadas de viento
Empanadas de viento or fried cheese empanadas are the most traditional and the most delicious meal from Ecuador. They are filled with cheese and fried until crispy. This empanada de viento is served with sugar, but you have other kind of empanadas salted. these empanadas de viento are the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack but you can also eat them as an appetizer.
The signature dish of the country, however, is ceviche, a seafood dish marinated in lemon and onions.
Thin beef skewers // Ecuadorian carne en palito
These grilled thin beef skewers, or Ecuadorian carne en palito, are made with thinly sliced meat seasoned with orange juice, garlic, achiote and cumin. It is eaten generally during carnival or in honor of the virgen del Cisne every September.
Vegetarian ceviche de chochos or Ceviche
One of the most popular street foods in the Ecuadorian Sierra or Andean Highlands is a vegetarian ceviche made with chochos in a sauce of lime, orange and tomato with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. But there are a lot of different kinds of Ceviche, mainly mad with seafood of fish.
Braised goat stew // Ecuadorian seco de chivo
Ecuadorian seco de chivo is a goat stew dish braised in a sauce of garlic, cumin, achiote, oregano, peppers, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, chicha or fermented corn drink, naranjilla or lulo juice, panela and spices. Seco de chivo is goat stew and is special occasion food in Ecuador. Traditionally, seco de chivo was made with chicha, a fermented corn beverage favored by the Incas. Nowadays beer is more common. Tart fruit juices are often added as well for added flavor and to offset any gaminess.
Ecuadorian churrasco // Steak with fried egg
Chrrasco is a plat well known in Brazil or Argentina but a little less in Ecuador. It is like the little cousin of the Brazilian one. It is made with a thin cut of steak, and it actually refers to an entire plate of food: a grilled, or sometimes fried with onions and peppers, steak topped with a fried egg served with rice, French fries, ripe plantains, a small salad, avocado slices and hot sauce.
Travel in the highlands of Inca country, and you're likely to be offered cuy, a traditional Andean entree, on the menu.
Cuy, alternately called Cobayo or conejillo de indias is a guinea pig or cavy. The taste is compared to rabbit, thought delicious, and though difficult to accept for people in other countries who regard guinea pigs as pets, the cuy is a staple of Andean cuisine. They are called "cuy" for the sound they make cuy, cuy.
The taste of guinea pig is difficult to describe and depends on how it is cooked. In Ecuador it is often cooked over an open spit; it reminds me of chicken wings or some other kind of dark meat.
Dulce de higos or fig preserves in syrup
This is a very traditional desert here in Ecuador. It is made with figs preserved in spiced syrup of panela / piloncillo or simply brown sugar and spices. This desert could be served in a humble family as well as a famous restaurant. These caramelized figs are usually served with a slice of fresh cheese, queso fresco or quesillo, to help balance the sweetness.
Pineapple flan // Flan de piña
In Ecuador, especially on the coast, it is very common to find flans made with pineapple, coconut, mango, or other fruit. Pineapple flan, also known as flan de piña or queso de piña, is custard like dessert made with fresh pineapple juice, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and rum.
There is a variant of the flan, the dessert known as pineapple cheese in Ecuador is a cheesecake to which pineapple is added and is very popular in the country. It doesn't need to be baked, which makes it an even easier dessert to make. As it is cold, it is a dessert especially consumed in summer.
Canelazo and naranjillazo spiced drinks
Canelazo is a traditional spiced hot drink from the highlands in Ecuador. The original canelazo recipe is made by boiling water with cinnamon and sugar or panela, and then it is mixed with a local sugar cane alcohol called punta or aguardiente. It is mainly appreciate in Quito because it is generally cold during nights. This is where hot canelazo comes in; if you are feeling the cold a drink of canelazo will definitely warm you up.
Colada Morada // Ecuadorian spiced berry and purple corn drink
Colada morada or spiced berry and purple corn drink is a traditional Ecuadorian drink made with fruits, spices, and purple corn flour. It is prepared for the day of the Deceased or el Dia de los Difuntos celebrations in Ecuador. It is a day to honor and remember all the loved ones who have passed away. As with most Latin holidays and events, there is always a food aspect to any special day, in this case one of those food components is a thick purple drink called colada morada. This drink is made with fruits, spices, and purple/black corn flour. It is typically served with sweet breads shaped in the form of dolls called guaguas de pan.
Colada de avena con naranjilla or Ecuadorian oatmeal drink
Colada de avena con naranjilla, also known as refresco de avena or sometimes just quaker , is a refreshing drink made from oats and fruit.
Colada is generally served with breakfast or lunch but it is more appreciate by kids after the school. The most common way to prepare it, is with oats, water, cinnamon, panela or hard brown sugar and a very tart fruit called naranjilla.
You can make it also with milk or other kind of fruits (pineapple, maracuya or passion fruit, babaco or mountain papaya).
It is only a little view of the culture and the enormous variety of the Ecuadorian cuisine. A large number of these dishes are very simple to find at the market or restaurants. The stomach is the most effective way to perceive the way of life of a country's population. We wish you a good lunch.