The most memorable local dishes and Ecuadorian street foods
From the weirdly wonderful street food, to the almuerzo that never seems to end (no, really – they're huge!), Ecuador has so much to offer when it comes to local cuisine.
If you've had the honor of trying Ecuadorian delicacies, these should ring a bell. Otherwise, pack your bags and eat your way through the world's most "instagrammable" dishes.
Don't forget to check out the food glossary at the end if you're unfamiliar with these mouth-watering specialities.
1. When you hear your host mom is baking empanadas at your house
With the crispy, flaky outside, melted cheese on the inside, and sprinkled sugar on top… what’s not to love about Ecuadorian empanadas? While you may encounter many tasty versions of empanadas throughout Latin America, this one is definitely the best.
Gobble them up while they’re still warm… run, gringo, run!
2. That moment when you try morocho for the first time
When you first heard "morocho" was made from corn, admit it, you were skeptical. But, after one tiny sip, you felt more desperate for a second helping than Oliver Twist himself. Of course, only Ecuador could turn a corn-based drink into something you wish came out of your drinking fountain at school. If only.
3. How you move when there’s a festival in June, and eating candy and pastries comes highly recommended
The Corpus Christi festival in June, originally started by the Catholic Church, epitomizes the Ecuadorian sweet tooth.
With nightly firework displays and 100+ candy and pastry stands lining the streets, there's no better place to be – anywhere.
4. Anytime you walk by a panadería on your way into town
Just follow your nose! You may try and resist, but with each mouth-watering piece of heavenly bread priced at 10 cents or less, how could you say no?
5. When the thought of eating guinea pig makes you squeamish, but then you try it
How could your childhood pet taste so good? Called "cuy" in Spanish, guinea pig is a local delicacy in Ecuador, and it doesn't take much to understand why.
6. Every single day at almuerzo
Soup. Soup for days!
Ecuadorians love their soup, and for obvious reasons – it's both an excellent way to warm up in the Andean mountain weather, and it tastes so dang good. Even though you find yourself attempting to recreate this lunchtime staple at home, it just isn’t the same.
7. Real-life impression of you eating any Ecuadorian meal
Even though you heard the food was supposed to be good in Ecuador, you didn’t truly understand what that meant until you arrived. Here, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and every lunch is a feast. You definitely deserve that post-lunch siesta.
8. When it’s time to say bye to authentic Ecuadorian food, until next time
You’re going to miss your host family and new friends, but in your heart of hearts, you know you’re going to miss the food the most. It’s okay, us too. While visions of sugar plums may dance through the heads of others, you know that for you, it’ll be dulces de corpus and jugo de mora.
Glossary of Ecuadorian Food
One of the many candy and pastry stands found during the Corpus Christi festival in Cuenca
Traditional Ecuadorian soup, called Locro de Papa, that's typically eaten at lunchtime
Cuy (aka Guinea Pig!)
Jugo de mora (freshly squeezed blackberry juice)
Hungry yet? Follow our blog for local recipes coming soon!
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