Savor the Delights of Ecuador's Cuisine
Ecuador is well known for its abundance of varied exotic fruits, excellent fish and seafood and the countless varieties of Andean potatoes. Ecuador has some very tasty and very strange combinations in their dishes. You can expect to find lemon marinated shrimps, toasted corn on the cob and a huge variety of pastries filled with all types of interesting ingredients.
If you are an adventurous eater, then Ecuador is the place for you. You can taste some roasted cuy (guinea pig), tronquito (bull penis soup) or yaguarlocro (potato soup made with sprinklings of blood). But for those of you who prefer eating more usual, familiar foods, Ecuador has plenty of tasty familiars.
Ecuadorians have a regular diet of rice, potatoes, and meat (beef and chicken can be found anywhere but pork is only found in the sierra). Most dishes in Ecuador are complimented by a traditional hot sauce called Aji. You will find Aji on almost every food table in restaurants and homes, each with its own intensity of 'picante' so taste a bit before you smother your food with it. In addition to Aji, most dishes are accompanied by rice, a small salad and potatoes or patacones (squashed, fried green bananas).
If you are planning on cooking, Ecuador has an abundance of street markets and stalls in major towns that sell a good assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables. These markets also sell exotic spices, and fresh picked herbs to make sauces, infusions and remedies. If your taste buds are longing for something fancy you should head to the bigger cities where you can enjoy some world-class delis and specialty stores.
Some dishes you will most likely find in most restaurants are: seco de pollo (a stew made of chicken, accompanied by rice and avocado slices), lomo salteado (thin beef steaks smothered in onions and tomatoes) and seco de chivo (goat stew served with a load of rice). At street vendors you are likely to find Tortillas de maiz (thin corn pancakes) and choclo (barbecued Andean corn). Both make great snacks at any time of the day.
Most Ecuadorians prefer beer, and in second place rum. You can find almost any imported beer brand in Ecuador as well as some pretty good local brewed ones.