Ecuador’s cuisine is very diversified for such a small nation, due to its varied topography, which includes the Amazon, the Pacific coast, and the Sierra. Ingredients like fish, rice, and coconut milk are significantly more common along the ocean. As a result, the foods available in these areas will be radically different from those found in the Amazon region.
While Ecuadorian cuisine is comparable to Peruvian cuisine, there are several amazing specialties that are distinctive to this little country of foodies. Ecuadorian cuisine is one of the most underappreciated in South America.
This is a meal that may be found all around Ecuador. Plantains, which resemble huge bananas and must be prepared before eating, are plentiful in this tropical nation. Fried plantains are often served as a side dish with the main meal or as an appetiser in Ecuadorian restaurants.
Chocolate from Ecuador
Ecuadorian chocolate is often regarded as among the greatest in the world. You’ll find rose, lemongrass, chile, coffee, and even Guayusa – a chocolate bar that combines rich cacao with a renowned Amazonian tea – here.
There are various local brands of world-class chocolate worth trying. Ecuadorian chocolates can make an excellent present for those who were unable to accompany you on your trip to Ecuador!
Cuy is one of the most well-known and unique forms of meat consumed in Ecuador’s Andean area. It is often diced and used in stews. The most common manner to serve cuy is whole, however seeing those little paws may be intimidating at first!
Many people mix up ceviche with viche due to their similar names. Rest assured, these are two quite distinct recipes (except for the fact that they’re both based on seafood and are both incredibly wonderful!).
Viche is a spicy, thick, and filling soup made with either fish or shrimp (or both!). The beef is simmered in a thick broth consisting of ground peanuts and water.
Ceviche may be found in many Latin American nations, but none make it quite like the Ecuadorians. Ceviche comes in a variety of flavours, but the basis is always Ecuador seafood, such as oysters, crab, octopus, lobster, fish, or shrimp.
Ecuador has a lengthy Pacific coast, so any seafood you select will be fresh! Ceviche is served in a wonderful soup flavoured with orange or lime juice. It goes well with onions, green peppers, and finely sliced tomatoes.
Potatoes are excellent in whatsoever shape they are presented in. Llapingachos are no exception to this! These are cheesy fried potatoes in the shape of little patties of shredded potato, cheese, and spices.
Llapingachos are quite popular among Ecuadorians. They’re commonly served as a side dish, but they’re also popular as snacks.
Espumillas are often compared to ice cream that never melts! This Ecuadorian delicacy is served on the streets and is quite popular among locals (especially the kids). Contrary to popular belief, this is not ice cream but rather a meringue froth flavoured with fruit such as guava and topped with sprinkles and syrup.
Zarapatoca is a stew produced by people in the country’s Amazon area. It is rather controversial due to the inclusion of turtle flesh, yet it is regarded a genuine Ecuadorian dish.
Zarapatoca is produced from the flesh of local turtles. It is a frequent dinner in locations where the food supply is based on shellfish, so inhabitants don’t have to raise animals and consume what is conveniently available.
In Cuenca, there is an entire market area devoted to this meal. Hornado is quite popular! This spit-roasted pig is a popular meal at family gatherings and bigger parties. Typically, the pork is cut fresh off the pig and served with llapingacho (discussed above), fried plantain slices, salad, and fried potato cakes.
Fritada is a spicy fried pig dish eaten with Llapingacho, mote, white potatoes, or other sides. Fritada has been a famous street food seller in Ecuador for decades and may be found all across the nation. The classic fried form is very popular in the provinces of Imbabura, Atuntaqui, and Quito.
Green Bolon de Verde
Bolon de Verde is an excellent example of another inventive method in which Ecuadorian cuisine revolves around the plantain. This recipe is great for breakfast, a light supper, or a hearty snack. Green plantains are cooked and mashed to produce a doughy basis for bolon de verde.
The foundation is made with cilantro and additional ingredients like as pork, local cheese, or crushed peanuts. Pork and cheese are often added to the mix.
Encebollado! is Ecuador’s official hangover remedy, but even the sober enjoy it as a special breakfast or late-night snack. This is a yucca and tuna fish stew prepared in a hearty broth with cilantro, red onions, and mild spices.
Encebollado is one of those Ecuadorian dishes that only grandmother can make. Each coastal family has its own secret recipe that they swear by.
Churrasco is a classic South American barbecue style that involves skewering and grilling cattle, veal, lamb, hog, and chicken chops over a wood fire. It is a popular meal in Brazil, but it is also a common cooking technique in many other nations across North and South America.
In Brazil, the meat used to make churrasco is often from the zebu, a type of cow that is especially popular in churrasco as a cut of meat known as cupim.
Ecuadorian Street Cuisine
Street food is quite popular across Ecuador, especially in big towns like Quito. It’s a terrific opportunity to explore some of the local meals and specialities since you may sample numerous dishes for very little money!