Alhough Ecuador is pretty small in comparison to its South American neighbours there is wide diversity in what is eaten dependent on the region. On the Pacific Coast, delicious made to order cerviche is readily available. All along the Andes, fresh trout – truncha is served with potatoes and vegetables. There were plenty of tasty trout set meals on offer in Cuenca, where they are caught fresh in the highland lakes.
Cute little Guinea Pigs aren’t just eaten in Peru to the south, as highland Ecuadorians have been devouring these lovely little furry protein packed meals for hundreds of years. However rice, beans and chicken meals are far more popular with foreign tourists.
Over to the east in the Amazon rainforest region, one pot root vegetable soups are the main dishes eaten by families. We came across many good value hearty, potato soup made with spinach, cheese and garnished with chunks of squidgy avocado.
We had first come across patacones in Brazil where it was tropical and plaintains grow everywhere in Ecuador, they are a type of hard vegetable banana. Patacones are plantains that are squashed into flat pieces and fried. Salty cheese is served on top to add taste, most street food vendors we saw had whole plantains in the skins roasting away on the grill.
We came across lots of take away style food sellers cooking up large pots of fritada. This is a traditional workers dish where pieces of pork are boiled with spices to tenderise the meat, it’s then fried up with lashings of pork fat and served with potatoes, corn or plantain. There is always a large pot ready for sale on busy highways that I always think looks a bit dubious, as you never know how many times it gets reheated!
Then like every South American country there is a symbolic fast food available and Ecuador specialises in salchipapas! This is a quick snack of grilled hotdog style sausages served with super fresh handmade crispy chips. Big dollops of mayonnaise and ketchup accompany this quick cheap dish, we tried it our purely for research reasons of course…but we still had no desire to eat Cuy!
Ecuador was awesome, we loved our time there. Provecho!