A Culinary Hotspot
Ecuador is increasingly known for its culinary excellence. In an article by Michael Kneissler which was published on welt.de, he describes the high standards and quality found in Ecuadorian rainforest cuisines. The exquisite grilled maggots (Chontacuros) are extremely nutritious and high in protein and the Wayusa Tea has double the amount of caffeine as normal coffee. The Ecuadorian kitchen often spice up their dishes with exotic plants and fruits. The food in Ecuador is as diverse and versatile as the country and its landscapes. Experts and nutritionists have already speculated that insects will be our future source of protein. If that is so, the future has already begun in Ecuador. According to a research done by the Catholic University in Quito, at least 83 types of insects are currently used for cooking and consumption in Ecuador.
Other amazing ingredients include Santa Maria, an air plant, which has the same protein content as a piece of steak. Yuca, also known as cassava, can be turned into a puree or for making beer (Chica).
A visit to the Amazon Rainforest and spending time with the indigenous Shuar community in TAWASAP will allow you to experience the way they live in the most authentic way. When you spend a week with Tzamarenda Naychapi and his family, you will get to know more about the forests, the exotic plants, the way they cook and their sacred rituals. Find out more about this amazing rainforest tour here.
Here are my favourite Ecuadorian food and drinks :
- Fruit juice made from exotic fruits like Naranjilla and Tamarillo and more well-known fruits like Maracuja and blackberries
- Banana and corn, both sweet and salty, such as “Bolones”, which consists of cooked bananas.
- Fruit flavoured ice cream
- Fresh fish especially Tilapia wrapped in Paja-Toquilla leaves served with Yuyo and Yuca
- Shrimps cooked in coconut milk
- Shrimp ceviche
Even if you do not visit the rainforest, you should definitely visit Restaurant Neuma in Quito. They serve phenomenal Ecuadorian dishes such as crab ravioli, ceviche with naranjilla, beef with quail eggs and many other mouth-watering dishes. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this extraordinary dining experience!