The Food of Ecuador
Updated: Aug 4, 2022
I've only been in Ecuador for four weeks and yet I have already acquired a deeper appreciation for food than I thought possible. Before arriving in Quito, one of my worries was how I would ever be able to survive in a country without Chick-Fil-A. However, after eating at many different Ecuadorian restaurants I don't know how I could ever look back. I think what I appreciate most about Ecuadorian food is that it is so incredibly fresh. All the food and produce is grown locally so there is no need for all the processing I had grown so accustomed to in the US.
Here are some of my favorite meals:
Now these chocolate waffles aren't exactly a national dish, but they were a solid 10/10 experience.
I had these my first weekend in Quito and the attention to detail in the plating is really my favorite part. I mean there were violet petals for crying out loud and I only paid about 8 dollars for the meal.
An egg, bacon, and avocado sandwich. What could be better?
Full disclosure: I cried actually tears of joy during this meal. Eggs are very common to have during with lunch, and not just breakfast, which I have really enjoyed. Unfortunately, I have high cholesterol at the ripe age of 18 and am only supposed to have 2 eggs a week. This sandwich was definitely worth 1/2 of my weekly allowance though.
This is one of the lunches I got to help prepare at the school where I am doing Spanish Immersion Training.
Llapangachos originated from Ecuador and are absolutely scrumptious. They are fried potato pancakes stuffed with cheese and cooked on a hot griddle until crispy brown. We served them with salchichas(sausages), huevos(eggs), and aguacate(avocado).
Last but not least we have Salchipapas. This delicious and less healthy Ecuadorian snack has a base of fries and sausage and whatever toppings your heart desires. Different restaurants will serve it with different toppings like shredded cheese, ketchup, mustard, pico de gallo and lots of other things. I've really enjoyed getting this dish on days I'm missing the unhealthier foods in the states.
I've really enjoyed trying new things and expanding my palate for the last few weeks. I've learned a lot about the culture of Ecuadorian food, but have also learned that many Ecuadorians like to enjoy a lot of the food I thought I would miss from home. I mean, we have a McDonalds right down the street! But some days I've found I'd prefer a fresh cooked meal for $2.00 at a small restaurant over a 10 count.
Being here and taking cooking classes at my school helped me develop an interest in leaning about how to prepare fresh dishes, especially with potatoes, and I can't wait to bring some new recipes back to friends and families in the US!
Llapangachos for Thanksgiving Dinner anyone?