Aji, Figs, and Guinea Pigs: What To Eat In Ecuador

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Food is the best.  It’s exciting, delicious, and adventurous if you choose the right thing.  While I was in Ecuador, I got to try weird things, well weird for me.  This included llama, guinea pig, and cow skin soup.  It was all delicious, but the soup was a little weird, think soggy gummy bears in broth.  Odd.

Food is a great way to experience a different culture.  It lets you see how they live and allows for great and exciting stories as well.  Not only is it exciting, but it opens your eyes to delicious food that you may have never been able to try back home.

Aji and fresh fruit juice, so good!  Fruit juice is a part of every meal and a refreshing addition to the rice also at every meal, still delicious!  Here’s a look at some of the food of the popular foods in Ecuador and traditional Ecuadorian food.

Helado

Who doesn’t like ice cream?  I’ll leave it at that.

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Cuy (Guinea Pig)

The whole thing.  They breed them to eat, I’m pretty sure that’s why they’re so giant.  It was actually really good.  Like a lot of things, it was like chicken.  It can be found in the Andes in Ecuador along with Peru and Bolivia.  Trying cuy in Ecuador is definitely something you should do at least once.

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Figs and Cheese

This was our dessert one night.  I wasn’t a huge fan, I think it was a little too sweet for me, but it’s still worth a try.  If (when) I go back, I’ll probably still try it again.

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Cow Skin Soup

This was weird.  It tasted fine, but the pieces of cow skin were, uhh, different.  They almost felt soggy.  A lot of places will have a basket of popcorn on the table.  This isn’t a pre-dinner snack.  You put it on your soup!  It’s delicious, but I would recommend adding it as you eat and not all at once.  That way it doesn’t get as soggy.

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 Aji

This is a salsa-type condiment that goes on everything.  Sometimes it’s spicy, other times milder.  It.  Is.  Heavenly.  I’ve tried to find it in the US, but haven’t been successful, but now I’m thinking I should just try and make some myself.

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Empanadas

The ones we had were filled with cheese, and super delicious.  Ecuador has pretty great food.

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Llama

Ours came with rice, fried plantain, and an avocado.  I’m not sure how common this is (not very, I’ve been informed), but we had it in a small village in the mountains.  I wasn’t a huge fan of this.  The meat was pretty tough and fatty.  I’m also not a huge fan of the sweet plantains like this, I prefer the fried ones.  I didn’t love this, but I’m glad I got to try it.

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 Whats the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?  Do you like trying weird food when you travel?  Have you had any of these things?

What to eat in Ecuador | Must Try food in Ecuador | Trying new food is one of the best parts of traveling. This will help you decide what to try in EcuadorWhat to eat in Ecuador | Must Try food in Ecuador | Trying new food is one of the best parts of traveling.  This will help you decide what to try in Ecuador

4 thoughts on “Aji, Figs, and Guinea Pigs: What To Eat In Ecuador

  1. Hiya! I’m an American that now lives in Ecuador, and I can wholeheartedly back up everything you said. The Salcedo ice creams are amazing!! And so’s cuy 😋 if I may add, there’s a few other weirder things you can eat here. Some people put tree tomatoes (which are actually sweet fruits, not related to tomatoes in taste) in the ají. I’ve also tried churros here, which are NOT cinnamon pastries, but are actually tiny freshwater snails they serve with lime, salt, and toasted corn. There’s also different bichos, or beetles they have here. One is a large white one that only seems to exist in November (haven’t gotten to try those yet, you have to get up at 2 am and catch them yourself), and a smaller brown one that…well the flavor was great. Like dry barbecue rub. But the texture…crunchy and hollow…it sort of got to me lol. My personal favorite though, is called guante. Better know as the world’s largest rodent- capybara!!! It tasted like pork chops 🤤

    1. Thank you! I would love to go back and I’ll definitely try more things! The aji with tree tomatoes sounds delicious!

  2. Hi, if you have someone coming to Ecuador you can ask them to get you Ají from the supermarket, ask for the kind with chochos. Or if you email me I’d be happy to send you a recipe but I don’t know if you will get the tomate de árbol in the States.
    Also we do have the pastries called churros, and there are street carts who sell them (with a paila of boiling oil in the cart, yes).
    Llama is not common at all as a dish, however there are lots of dishes with pork! Our specialty seems to be soups, there are hundreds of typical soups. Also many kinds of empanadas and foods wrapped in leafs (like tamales).
    Happy you Ecuador, come back soon!

    1. Ohh, thank you! I would love a recipe if you have one, I’ll shoot you an email! I think I liked most of the soups I had when I was there. It sounds like I definitely need to go back to try more of the food! Of course I need to explore more, too, but the food! haha

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