Ecuadorian Food: Cuenca’s Variety of Food Goodness

South American food was one of my favorite types of food (specifically Chilean) until I came across Ecuadorian food! Having a husband from Chile, I loved those handmade meat and cheese empanadas that are so easy to pack in a lunch or to eat by hand. Pastel de chocolo, a beef/meat corn pie is also one of my favorites. So when I visited Ecuador for the first time, I was quite surprised at the diversity of the ingredients they have in their foods, especially since they were quite different than other South American countries I had visited. I soon realized that Ecuadorian food diversity (as well as regional differences) was primarily thanks to Ecuador’s geography. Because of its large coastal region, there is an abundance of seafood in that region.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Then with the large mountainous region in the middle of the country, there are many crops that they can grow in the Andes, in particular potatoes. Ecuador has a huge amount of variety of potatoes that I had never seen before. It seems that Ecuador puts its own twist on some of my South American favorites, as well as makes quite a few unique foods.  They also grow corn and quinoa and the tropical regions produce exotic fruits as well.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Homegrown Ecuadorian food: Fruits and vegetables

Depending on where you are in the country, Ecuador food can consist of potatoes, rice, beans, plantains, yucca, seafood, chicken, beef,  cuy (guinea pig), and pork. All of these seem to be staples of the Ecuadorian diet. They also enjoy things like Aji, a spicy chile pepper hot sauce, stews, soups and I saw a lot of ceviche in certain regions of the country.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Cafe Eucalyptus

Ecuadorian Food: Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador

We had gotten a lot of recommendations for Ecuadorian restaurant places in Cuenca. Everything from trendy and hip, to basic, cheap everyday-type of food.  I had heard the foods of Cuenca, Ecuador are supposed to be good, so we were ready to try out a few different Ecuadorian restaurants.

On our first night, it was getting late, so we decided to head out to Cafe Eucalyptus. We could not have made a better choice. The ambiance was “Old World meets Colonial Tommy Bahama”.  I loved it.  Typically they have a band, but not the night we were there, probably because it was on a Wednesday night.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Ecuadorian Food: Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador

Our final night, we saved the best-recommended restaurant for last! Ranked #1 as the best thing to do in Cuenca by Lonely Planet, we designed our day around the meal that would please the palate in every way:  Tiesto’s.  It is a very cozy Ecuadorian restaurant, with an open kitchen and friendly staff that wear the traditional Panamanian hats made here in Cuenca (made in Ecuador and imported to Panama, thus the famous name). The staff is perfectly trained for your every want and need. 

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian food.

My husband and I enjoying Ecuadorian Food.

Ecuadorian Food: Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador

This Ecuadorian food was absolutely amazing. How could we resist the chef/owner Juan Carlo’s offer of his recommendation as to what to choose from the menu of traditional Ecuadorian food? He ordered us langoustines served in a tomato cream sauce that was to die for.  Just so you know, he typically visits all the tables every night!

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Ecuadorian food: langoustines served in a tomato cream sauce at Tiestos Cafe and Restaurant

Then the lomos (pork) medallions topped with a creamy cheese sauce, which were also fantastic, served sizzling in a ceramic platter. The meat was tender and melted in our mouths.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Ecuadorian Food: Lomos (Pork Medallions)

Ecuadorian Food: Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador

The accompaniments of our Ecuadorian food were excellent also.

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

Ecuadorian Food

The finale  was the dessert:

Ganache type fudgy cake with passion fruit ice cream

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian food.

Ecuadorian dessert: Ganache type fudgy cake with passion fruit ice cream

On our walk home (good thing we had to walk!), we passed the Cathedral, where the ice cream vendors were busy at work:

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to this Ecuadorian food.

Ecuadorian Food: Ice Cream with fried plantains

Ecuadorian Food: Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador

That meringue concoction that was piled high into ice cream cones sure looked good.  I didn’t try it since we already had dessert, but later I heard that the fluffy meringue is made with raw egg whites and that maybe it is not a good idea to indulge in the concoction.  A lot of the locals eat it, but I think their tummies are used to it.  I probably would have tried it anyway, but our bellies were full from Tiesto’s.  Look closely in the background, those long yellow crispy looking things were actually plantains (bananas) that were thinly sliced and then deep fried, they looked good too, but we were stuffed.

Farewell Tiesto’s:  Until we meet again!

Come along with me I share with you the Foods of Cuenca Ecuador. You are going to love this Ecuadorian Food.

There you have it, great Ecuadorian food was found in Cuenca!


In case you are looking for a place to stay in Cuenca, you can check here for many great options.


Ecuadorian Food: What are they like?

Cuenca blends two different food cultures: the Spanish and the native Ecuadorians. Some dishes rely on local ingredients yet are prepared with European cooking techniques. While others are cooked in spiced sugar syrups, which has been a type of cooking in the region prior to the Spanish arrival.  Here is a list of interesting Ecuadorian dishes to try:

Ecuadorian Food: Meats

Lechón al Horno

Roasted pork sliced directly off the whole pig.

La Fritadas

These are cubes of pork that are fried in their own drippings until crisp on the outside and tender in the center.

Mote Pillo

Mote is corn that has been dried and then rehydrated, typically cooked with and seasoned with eggs, onions, salt, and parsley, a traditional dish of the province of Azuay, Ecuador.

Cuy Asado

Grilled guinea pig, or cuy asado.

Seco de Cordero

A stewed meat, typically from a goat or a lamb.

Ecuadorian Food: What’s for Breakfast?

Humitas

These are the breakfast choice of most Cuencanos. It is a muffin made with ground corn and can be sweet (dulce) or salty (salado). They are wrapped in a corn husk or a banana leaf and steamed.

Ecuadorian Food: What’s for lunch?

Tortillas de Morocho

A pancake-like cheesy nugget of goodness cooked on a ceramic skillet and made with ground dried or fresh corn and wheat flour.

Locro de Papas

Potato soup made with milk, cheese, avocados and primarily with the potato known as papa chola, a large yellow potato with red skin.

Llapingacho

A friend potato cake served with peanut sauce.

Tamal

Ground corn, water, and lard that is spread on a banana leaf. Seasoned with either chicken, pork, or beef that is wrapped inside.

Ecuadorian Food: What to Drink?

Rosero

Rosero is a drink that includes ground white corn, orange juice, pineapple, and strawberries. They may include other exotic fruit from the region. They then add clove and cinnamon. It is sweetened with sugar and served cold.

Colada Morada

Colada Morada is a traditional Ecuadorian beverage prepared with black corn flour and fruits. It is also sweetened with sugar and spices are then added.

Ecuadorian Food: What’s for dessert?

Dulce de Higo

These are figs that are prepared in a particular way, picked green, they are soaked in water for 24 hours and then steeped in a syrup made from brown sugar and spices. Typically they are served with cheese and are an Ecuadorian dessert. They can also be stuffed into a sandwich and sold by street vendors.

Recommended Reading:

This post is the #4 post in a series of posts regarding taking a trip to Ecuador:

Post #1: Should We Retire in Ecuador? Exploring Cuenda, Ecuador

Post #2: Chordeleg:  A Day Trip from Cuenca

Post #3: The Markets in Cuenca, Ecuador

Post #4:  Ahh! The Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador (and tasting delicious Ecuadorian food!)

Post #5:  Equestrian Countryside of Cuenca

Post #6:  Quito: A Visit to the Middle of the World

Post #7:  Montanita, Ecuador:  Out of My Comfort Zone

Post #8 Cultural Tourism in a City Upon a Hill: Quito, Ecuador

Have you thought about going to the Galapagos Islands since you are in Ecuador?

What is it really like to be on an Ecoventura Yacht in the Galapagos?

Post Office Bay, Floreana, Galapagos

Through the Eyes of a Galapagos Gringa

9 (+1) Reasons You Should Visit The Galapagos Before It’s Too Late

 

2018-03-04T22:31:31+00:00

7 Comments

  1. […] Post #4:  Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador […]

  2. […] Post #4:  Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador […]

  3. […] Post #4:  Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador […]

  4. […] Post #4:  Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador […]

  5. Helen Anne Travis August 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Oh man. Now I have to go to Ecuador. Looks delicious!

  6. admin August 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Yes! the food was delicious!

  7. Cultural Tourism: Quito Ecuador August 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    […]  Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador […]

Comments are closed.