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Ecuadorian Cuisine

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Ecuador- Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Ecuadorian Cuisine History Edit

Ecuador is situated in South America and it is covered with wide fields, jungles, tropical forests and agricultural plains. The territory of today’s Ecuador was populated by Indian tribes, back when the Europeans reached the area's Pacific coast in the 16th century. When the Inca Empire extended, it included today’s capital Quito and the first Spanish people established at Quito and at Guayas. The Ecuadorian culture and cuisine merged out of these nations, but it was also adapted to include and value the local exotic nature.

Ecuador is the first exporter of bananas in the world and among the first exporters of cocoa and coffee. Besides these, there are many local and exotic fruits, which are used in various meals, from desserts to main courses and garnishes: avocado, artichokes, raspberries, strawberries, pineapples, and papaya all year long and peaches, apples, pears and other fruit can be found in specific seasons. The most used meats are Pork, Beef, Lamb, Veal and Beef in Sierra, seafood and Tuna on the coast, jungle animals in Galapagos, while Turkey and Chicken are more expensive and eaten less. Among the most famous dishes, there are the: ceviche (with black clam, red crabs, white flesh fish, lobster or sea-snail), ocro de papa or potatoes soup and the humitas, known as the local tamales.

Preparation Methods for Ecuadorian Cooking Edit

The Ecuadorian cooking doesn’t need any special preparations, besides a great amount of time allocated to preparing the meals. Time is needed in the case of preparing complicated soups, which boil for hours. Ecuadorian cuisine is served both cold and warm: the Coastal area, based on seafood mostly has cold meals and in Sierra, the potatoes and the Pork meats are served warm. The methods applied when cooking are mostly: grilling, boiling, and frying (including oil), but there are many dishes that require much more than one technique. The preparation of different local sauces and mixtures of spices and herbs requires time and technique, too. There are many pastries, especially when talking about desserts and breads and these need to be prepared out of more recipes: dough, filling, sometimes sauce or soup. Pork intestines, Pork fat, skin and blood, Beef tripe and other uncommon aliments are needed for some of the Ecuadorian meals.

Special Equipment for Ecuadorian Cooking Edit

The cheviche, which is a traditional dish including seafood (generally shrimp with herbs and greens) is served in a special small pot. The cutlery is usually made of sterling silver and the plates that the Ecuadorian people use are both flat and deep: bowls are used for soups and for some of the seafood. The Ecuadorian craft includes the ceramics and the rustic pottery making. The large brownish pots are used both for cooking and for depositing food, like bones, meat and fish, as fishing is a common activity, especially on the coast. Small knifes are used to peel some of the soft fresh or boiled vegetables and some fruits, while chopping the meat is done with bigger knives. There are some special and wide, oval plates for the salads, as this meal is eaten commonly. There are also some tiny, yet deep bowls for the spicy sauces. In many cases, the cooking procedure is done simultaneously in different pots, so these must be available: ccondensate pots, orifice plate, flow elements, catch pots in different shapes and sizes.

Ecuadorian Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

There are many traditional holidays, festivities and even carnivals in Ecuador and many of them have an old and religious meaning. Most of the Ecuadorian people are catholic and here are practiced many catholic rituals and rites during these holidays.

On the 6th of the December, the Ecuadorian people celebrate the Founder’s Day or the Quito, which includes open air parties with live music and traditional drinks. In November, there are many national festivities: All Saints` Day, All Soul’s Day or Day of the Dead and Cuenca Independence Day, the biggest annual celebration. During these days, the tradition says that the souls of the dead visit the living ones, so they must have plenty of food and drinks. The specialties for this holiday include bread dolls with different shapes and different meanings. A tomb is constructed with the soul’s favorite drink and food and over it, black clothes are placed. The celebration continues with colada morada, a sweet purple drink.

During the holy week and Easter, there are many religious practices and the traditional meal is the fanesca, a typical Ecuadorian stew. The fanesca is a soup, made with Cod and grains and it is consumed all around Ecuador.

People in Ecuadorian Food Edit

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Ecuadorian people live in a unique natural space, which was blessed with many interesting and wild plants, growing on wide plantations and fields. Because of this, the Ecuadorian people are in touch with the nature and all its elements. There are many fruits and vegetables growing in the country, so the Ecuadorian people are familiar to them and know how to use them best. Ecuador’s locals are very proud of their national plants and aliments that are unified in their cuisine; a cuisine which is exotic, highly flavored and spiritually meaningful. The Ecuadorians carried on the traditions through their cooking and all participated to the cultural Ecuadorian cuisine. Ecuadorian people are very creative when it comes to cooking and the food is experienced in their culture as a culinary limb, full of original flavors. This exotic cuisine experiences new recipes and innovates permanently, by adding original and sometimes daring aliments in the traditional cuisine.

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