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Ecuadorian food, as unique as it sounds, is both underrated and diverse. Each of the country’s three geographic regions, the Pacific Coast, the Sierra and the Amazon, features its own range of local delicacies that are simply mouth-watering. Soups are a specialty across Ecuador and ceviche is one of the most common dishes you can find along the coast. Here are 5 local Ecuadorian dishes you can’t miss:
Don’t be alarmed! Guinea pig or cuy is actually a popular local dish that originated from the highlands of Ecuador and its neighbor, Peru. In fact, these dishes are often reserved for special occasions only as they do not come cheap. The guinea pigs used for this dish are bred for the table (not as pets) and they simply taste delicious. This is surprising because they do not have a lot of meat on them and can taste so good. For the full experience, you are recommended to eat them with your fingers so that you can get all the tasty meat and crispy skin. In addition, finding some place that allows you to wash your hands after the meal is a great advantage too.
Known as a staple in the costa, plantain appears in many forms and rest assured that most of them are very enjoyable. Patacones are easily identifiable as thick chunks of green plantain that are fried, bashed with a stone and fried again before being served with salt. If possible, do pair your Patacone dishes with a cold beer! Patacones are served in many restaurants throughout Ecuador and they are famous as an appetizer with hot salsa or side dish for fish themed dishes.
Frequent the beach? If so, you definitely can’t miss out on ceviche! This particular dish is a mix of shellfish and raw seafood that are “cooked” in lime or other citric juices. You will often find ingredients such as onions, squid (calamari), clams, crab, shrimp and white fish. The beach is one of the most popular places to enjoy ceviche. The surf town of Montanita is littered with many ceviche carts and you will be able to custom your own platter at a cheap price. Restaurants do serve higher quality ceviche as well and you should check them out if that’s what you prefer.
This is one of Ecuador’s best known and most beloved local dishes. They are basically potato patties that contain cheese, and they are cooked on a griddle until they turn into a beautiful golden brown color. Llapingachos are often served as a side dish, and complemented with a fried egg, chorizo, pork, salad and avocado. This is a hot favorite and definitely a must-try!
If you are feeling adventurous or call yourself a die-hard fan of dishes that contain tripe, feel free to order this dish! Librillo is a special dish that has chopped and cooked stomach lining of a cow. They are served and prepared in a variety of ways, but most commonly with rice. Also, it is pretty popular in the mountainous regions of Ecuador.
Have those dishes set off a little sense of hunger or perhaps homesickness? Don’t forget that you can send money back to your loved ones in Ecuador via Sharemoney! It’s an easy way to show them that you care and they are constantly in your thoughts!
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