Where is the Coffee?
Ecuador is one of the only 25 countries of the world that produces and exports Ecuador is one of the only 25 countries in the world that produces and export both Arabica and Robusta coffee. Much to my surprise, I learned that Ecuadorians drink instant coffee. We ordered coffee at a very local and traditional cafe and were delivered steamed milk. When I asked “café?”, she said “un momento” and delivered a jar of instant coffee. Well, it was drinkable. But- we need to stop for some real coffee later. I learned also that coffee is not a part of the Ecuadorian culture, they prefer tea. Who knew?
The Land of Soups
Soups are popular everywhere, but you will find that Ecuador has a host of unqiue delicious soups are based on a variety of fish, goat, tripe, chicken, beef and various vegetable.
Probably one of the most popular is Locro de Papas which is a creamy potato soup garnished with cheese, avocado and hot sauce. Another favorite is Fanesca which is a soup of bacalao (salt cod), figleaf gourd, pumpkin, chochos, lupines, fava beans, lentils, peas, corn and more (a total of 12 beans and grains). Usually garnished with hard boiled eggs, fried plantains and parsley. Legend is that there are over 200 types of Ecuadorian soups.
The Santa Clara Market Excursion
The Santa Clara Market is a bustling place on a Saturday afternoon. It is perfect for tasting an array of previously unfamiliar fruits and juices like guanbana which tastes like mixed with berries. The guanabana is said to have properties that contribute to the reduction of certain types of cancers. Need to look into the research on this. Another dried plant from one can make into tea is supposed helps one lose weight. The tea is so bad it makes you lose your appetite. Ok. Ecuador boasts that they have over 1000 varieties of potatoes. Next stop was the delicious and popular where they serve fried fish which is supposed to be seabass, but is actually shark. I was happy to eat it as I looked around and saw the whole cooked pigs perched on shelves in front of families dining. Not my choice.