You’ll Say ‘What Are Thoooose’ To These Dishes, But You Know You’ll Want To Try
We Latinos have been blessed with some of the best food ever. Perhaps the best in the world. And that’s not an overstatement. But let’s talk Ecuadorian dishes specifically, because they’re a little underrepresented and my Ecuadorian self wants to share the food wealth with y’all that don’t already know.
1. We’ll start with Ecuadorian ceviche because it’s often overshadowed by Peruvian ceviche…
Both Peru and Ecuador argue that their ceviche is the best, and while they’re similar, Ecuadorian ceviche tends to be soupier with a lot more tomatoes thrown into the mix, making it more like a salsa. Life!
Llapingachos are a national dish that originated in Ambato, Ecuador, and they are everything you could want in a dish: mashed potato pancaked stuffed with cheese… and then fried. They’re usually served with avocado, peanut sauce, sausage or a fried egg. I told you they were perfect.
Fritada de chancho is fried pork seasoned with cumin, garlic, salt and deep fried in pig fat. What sets this fried pork apart from the fried porks of our Latino neighbors is that they’re usually served with only mote or llapingachos, as to never take away from the main dish.
You have to be at the right place at the right time to behold the deliciousness of fanesca. It’s only served and prepared in the Holy Week before Easter. Or, your tía can make it for you whenever. This is a suuuuuper rich soup made with 12 grains and beans to represent the 12 apostles of Jesús, and usually topped with hard-boiled eggs, fried platanos, AND sometimes, tiny empanadas. If you can get through it all, you will be feelin’ real blessed, tbh. *emoji prayer hands*
5. Cuy (yep, guinea pig)
The thing about cuy is that they always insist on serving it in its full rodent form, so it’s not exactly MY taste, but it’s a dish that is pretty unique to the Andean region and is beloved in Ecuador, so I had to give it a shout out. I heard it tastes like chicken…
6. Locro De Papa
Potato soup, everyone. Served with cheese! And avocados! The holy trinity.
Quimbolitos are a dish really traditional to the Sierra regions in Ecuador and southern Colombia. They’re made from corn flour, orange juice, vanilla and raisins that are then steamed in a corn husk. It’s like a teeny, tiny delicious cake surprise.
Corn is a really big deal in Ecuador, and we absolutely love it and will eat it in every form. Most typical Ecuadorian dishes are served with tostado on the side, which is essentially toasted corn nuts that taste like popcorn that hasn’t popped. The best thing about tostado is that it’s an easy snack to take anywhere and everywhere with anything.
9. Bolón De Verde
Bolón de verde is made from mashed green plantains and stuffed with either cheese or chicharrones. Because there’s no such thing as a basic Latino meal, the bolónes alone are usually served at breakfast, but they can also be served as a sopa de verde. They are as incredible as anything combining plantains and cheese can be.
Peru experienced an influx of Chinese immigrants in the 1800s, thus they created a cuisine called “chifa,” which also influenced neighboring Ecuador to make its own version of fried rice, chaulafán, and it’s so, so, delish.
11. Empanadas de Morocho
I know Latinos loooove empanadas of all kinds, but when I first went to visit family in Ecuador, I had never come across ones that were as crispy and light as empanadas de morocho. Morocho is cracked hominy, so it’s like eating a fried ball of grits, which is my kinda thing. Morocho is also used to make morocho de leche, a very typical hot soothing drink served hot with cinnamon and raisins. Yuuuuumm!
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