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Ecuadorian Cuisine

Ecuadorian Cuisine is diverse and it is associated to its different regions. It usually consists of two dishes, a soup and a rice platter. Ecuador is known for its bananas and all the dishes made from them such as Bolones de Verde, but also fot its starch consumption of products like potatoes, rice and yuca. 

Most regions of Ecuador follow the traditional three-course meal of sopa (soup) and segundo (second dish), which includes rice and any kind of protein such as beef, poultry, pork or fish. Then comes the dessert and coffee. 


Sierra (Highlands Region)

Pork, chicken, beef and cuy (guinea pig) are popular in the highlands regions and these are served with a variety of carbohydrate - rick foods, especially rice, corn and potatoes. 

A very popular street food served in the Highland markets is the Hornado, which is the pig meat, cooked whole accompanied by Llapingachos (potatoe patties), mote (hominy), avocado and toasted corn called tostado

The cuy (guinea pig) is a famous and traditional dish in the highlands and it is often served with boiled potatoes and reserved for special occasions as they are not cheap. They are not considered pets in Ecuador. 

The most typical soup of the Higlands is the Locro, which is filling potato and cheese soup also served with avocado. 


Costa (Coastal Region)

Typical Ecuadorian dishes in the coastal region are based basically on local ingredients such as plantain (savoury banana), cassabe, coconut and rice. Plantain is a popular food and it appears in many forms like Patacones which are fried thick chunks of plantain bashed with a stone, fried again and served with salt. The Chifles are also made out of plantain but they are thin deep-fried slices that usually are served with the typical Ceviche

Ecuador's seafood is also very common in the coastal region as it very fresh and delicious. In the Province of Esmeraldas the Encocados are famous and are made our fish or prawns cooked in coconut milk and some local spices and are usually served with rice and Patacones. 

The Ceviche which is made out of any kind of boiled fish, prawns, black shells, octopus, crab or other seafood marinated in lime or lemon juice with chilli and onion and it usually served with chifles and corn. 

There is also a wide variety of subtropical fruits such as papaya, pineapple, passion fruit, guava and many more and usually served as fresh juices. 


The Amazon - Oriente Ecuatoriano

The indegenous groups have a typical cuisine based on available hunting and fishing resources and products of the area, such as cassabe, wide variety of fish and guanta meat are the basics of a nutritional meal accompanied Chicha which is a beverage made out of fermented rice. 


Traditional Holiday Foods

Certain public holidays and festivals in Ecuador also have special foods associated with them such as:

1. All Souls Day (November 2nd): Decorated bread dolls called Guaguas de Pan are eaten with the typical Colada Morada which is a purple drink made out of dark corn flour, black raspberries, blueberries, pineapple and a range of different herbs and spices. You can serve it hot or as a cold beverage. 

2. Holy Week (March/April - Easter): Fanesca is a very traditional Easter soup and it is only prepared once a year. It is made with dried salted cod fish and a great variety of grains, some of which are unique to the Andean highlands such as fresh squash, fava beans, chochos, corn, green peas, cabbage, fresh beans, broad beans, pumpkin, lima beans, rice, onions, peanuts, milk, cream and cheese. It is served with hardboiled eggs slices, fried ripe plantains, fried cheese empanadas, hot peppers slices and chilli. 

It is heavy dish so it is recommended to just at that, not even a dessert. 


Written by LARM Ecuador

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