One of the most exciting things about visiting a new country for study and travel is trying the nation’s cuisines. Ecuador has some rich culinary diversity and is particularly famed for its exotic fruits, delicious fish and seafood. One of the best ways to sample Ecuadorian food is to have a set meal, available in restaurants throughout Ecuador. This usually includes soup to start with a main course and a dessert, giving you a good idea about some of the local cuisines.
Soup is something of a specialty in Ecuador and is commonly eaten as a first course. Locro soup is one of the most famous made with avocado, potato and cheese and is certainly worth trying. For the bold, Caldo de Pata is a broth made with boiled cow hooves, and the local tradition is that it increases male virility. Other unusual dishes include Cuy (roasted guinea pig) and Tronquito (bull penis soup).
The seafood in Ecuador is generally excellent, and the most famous seafood dish is ceviche, seafood marinated in onions and lemon. Ceviche can be made with a variety of different fish and is usually served with popcorn. It is usually best to sample the dish in a good restaurant, as poor preparation can expose you to various bacteria. On the northern coast, the seafood dishes are especially prepared in coconut milk.
Cheap pastries bought from bakeries and street vendors are delicious in Ecuador, with empanadas (meat or cheesy pastries) and Ilapingachos (potato and cheese pancakes) two of the most famous. Other common dishes include seco de pollo (chicken with rice and avocado) seco de chivo (goat stew) and various corn based dishes often sold by street vendors.
In larger towns and cities, and particularly in Quito, there are plenty of international cuisines on offer with Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and other South American food restaurants all easily available.