One thing that I really love about Cuenca, Ecuador is the food (other things include Dos Chorreras and Piedra de Agua)! In the weeks leading up to the trip I made a list of the foods that I wanted to eat most of all, and immediately went on a hunt for them as soon as I arrived. Before I talk about the “must haves” and some of my favorite foods, I thought I’d outline a typical day of eating:
- Breakfast: Fresh bread from a local bakery along with cheese, tea, and coffee. Fresh fruit was also plentiful. Once or twice we were also served oatmeal. Typically I was pretty full (and stayed full!) for a number of hours after this meal.
- Lunch: The big meal of the day. Because most people end up taking 2-3 hours off, this meal might be eaten at a restaurant or at home. My host family would typically serve the following: bread with soup (potato, pea, quinoa & chicken, etc… <-all amazing though!), a main course (rice, meat, and veggie), and a dessert. Fresh fruit juice was also plentiful.
- Dinner: Smaller than lunch, and typically eaten somewhere between 9 and 10:30 at night. We had sandwiches, hotdogs (they were mini and cooked in ketchup, coke, and carmelized onions, then put on a bun with chips on top. It was amazing), or oatmeal again. Again, all were amazing.
Fresh fruit market
Fruits are plentiful in Ecuador, and there are so many more varieties of fruits compared to what we get in the U.S. If you ever go to Ecuador, make sure you eat as many fruits as you can, along with the delicious fruit juices (I forgot to take any pictures of the juices :( ).
This is what the guaba fruit looks like from the outside
This is guaba fruit (note: this is different than guava). The fruit is somewhat fuzzy and you suck the outside off, and a large black seed (the size of a cockroach) is left behind. It’s delicious and I wish I could get them at home.
This is guinea pig (cuy) and I did NOT try it. I’m opposed to eating any animal that I’ve cuddled at some point (and I had guinea pigs when I was little).
French onion soup at Piedra de Agua
Potato soup at Dos Chorreras
Soups are my favorite, and potato soup is an absolute MUST HAVE in Ecuador. They have different potatoes and a different oil (can also come in a powder form) that makes it a little more orange. It’s usually served with a slice of avocado, and it’s amazing.
Every day you’re in Ecuador you need to find a fresh little bakery and try all sorts of breads! They have dessert and sweet breads (covered in sugar, filled with jam, rolled with chocolate, etc…) as well as typical breads and rolls that you’d eat at a meal.
Make sure you try the delicious coffee at a few different cafes. This is outside of Un Buen, which was delicious! I also brought coffee home with me.
And finally- you need to try Inca Cola. People have very mixed opinions (it sort of tastes like Bubble Gum I think), but it’s part of the cultural experience.
This is by no means the extent of the foods that I ate, but are the things that I tend to look forward to each time I head down to Ecuador. The foods are delicious, and I can’t wait to go back and get my favorites once again!
Now it’s your turn to share! What are some of your favorite foods you’ve had while traveling?