Where is Ecuador? How many of you could answer that question on a game show and get it right? Where it is isn’t as important as what it has to offer. This week we are exploring the riches of this mountainous country and hope to share our experiences with you.
We arrived yesterday and got our first taste of the local food at the Farmer’s market on Sunday. Our gringo curiosity was met with smiles, giggles and advice as we navigated the exotic fruits, with names like dragon, sucking mango, tree tomato and garanita (our favorite; watch our video).
We went from stall to stall and with just a smile and a “what is that??” we were invited to sample things like cerdo (pulled pork) and higado (gizzard). We paired it with papas chulas (potato patties) filled with queso (cheese) and humongous kernels of corn. But the most favored cuisine in Ecuador is the cuy (guinea pig), yes you read that right, guinea pig. It’s a delicacy for them but also a mainstay, when meat is served. (No worries. We don’t serve it to our guests on our New Year’s Eve in Ecuador Adventure.)
Here’s one you’ll recognize, Quinoa, it is a principal part of every Andean diet and packs all the protein punch you’d need, so vegetarians need not worry. Grains such as whole hominy, corn and fresh (non GMO) veggies and fruits are abundant.
Our hosts ended our day with hearty quinoa and potato soup and we spiked it with the local hot sauce called aji made of variations on onion, garlic and tree tomato. We look forward to a different freshly squeezed juice every morning as well as a chance to try all the exotic foods.
Stay tuned for more action tomorrow. If you’d like to join us in Ecuador, we have a few options:
Contributed by Tammy Weiler, President of Fun & Adventure for Singles Travel International