We’d like to take you on a region-by-region tour of the country’s flavors! Follow us to discover these different specialities…
Ecuadorian cuisine is a blend of pre-Columbian cooking and the many influences of the regions that make up this small country.
Andean region: between 1,700 and 4,000 m altitude
Pork (a product introduced at the time of the conquest and which today forms an important part of the culinary identity). Fritadas and hornados, for example, are two different ways of cooking pork. These are often found in markets or outdoors.
Andean tubers (originating in the Andes, there are over 800 varieties of tuber in Ecuador, including 300 varieties of potato). These include potatoes, yuca (or manioc), etc.
Locro de papas is a famous potato-based soup from the Andes. A delight to be savoured at the foot of the mountains!
Fruits (in the Andean region, there is a wide variety of fruits, both native and introduced, for example in the Tungurahua valley): capuli tomato, emilia apple, claudia, abridor, golupas, taxo, granadilla, custard apple, pumpkin, sambo.
Corn and the importance of the golden grain. Corn is one of the country’s most widely consumed food products. It’s grown and eaten in every region.
And of course, one specialty that may not leave you indifferent is grilled guinea pig, or “cuy” in Spanish! You’ll see plenty of them cooked on spits in the Andes. It’s a much-loved delicacy in Andean villages, and many even raise their own. You’ll also find plenty of them in Peru.
The Amazon: the country's most unspoilt region
River fish (catfish, carachama). For example, maito is a dish where fish is cooked in “bijao” or banana leaves over a fire or under the earth with hot stones.
Guayusa tea: a beverage with a strong ancestral link to the Amazonian people. It is made from the leaves of native Guayusa trees, to which lemon and sugar (or panela) are added.
Amazonian fruits: Naranjilla, acai, borojó, arazá, guayabilla.
The importance of cocoa, grown in the Amazon.
Pacific coast and its seafood specialties
Fish and seafood are the mainstays of the region’s production and importance, with products such as shrimp and tuna. One of the most popular dishes is encebollado, a fish soup with onions and yuca (manioc). For the record, it’s said that this soup makes the aftermath of a hard night’s work go away…
Bananas (green, ripe, plantain, banana, red banana, etc.). Many dishes are accompanied by chifles (plantain chips) or patacones (fried plantains).
Also, tigrillo is a dish often prepared for breakfast with mashed green bananas. It’s delicious served with cheese and fried eggs.
Coconut is present in many dishes, including encocado, a preparation made with coconut milk. This dish can feature shrimp, fish, crab or other seafood.
Cocoa, which is also mainly produced in this region.
The Galapagos: the enchanted archipelago
This cuisine is similar to that of the coast.
Many lobsters are found between July and December, the months when they are fished.
Ecuadorian cuisine is as diverse and varied as the country’s regions. It is also linked to the differences in temperature and climate.
We invite you to sample these specialties during your visit to the country at the center of the world.