Growing up in the South American capital of Quito, Ecuador, some of my favorite foods were discovered in the little restaurants next to my high school, along city parks or next to the beach.
Inexpensive, hot, delicious — South American food is a reflection of the culture that makes it. And that’s one of the best parts about traveling to new locations with unfamiliar cuisines. You can discover so much about the people of a place by their use of pepper, paprika or paneer masala.
Ecuadorian food is cooked slow, with love, and best eaten with family or friends. (Which is why these recipes make a lot — expect leftovers.) It may take all day, but the end result is well worth it.
Influenced by the large indigenous population of the country, Ecuadorian food is a lot of rice, beans, potatoes and yucca (a root similar to a potato) — plus fresh fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes and onions are incorporated into almost every meal, and it’s not dinner unless there’s a soup course first.
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