The food in Ecuador varies with the different climates. No matter where you go, you’ll have access to a wider variety of fruit than you’ll find anywhere in North America. There are almost as many varieties of ice cream, Ecuador’s dessert of choice. Ice cream is often made with fruit, much like a sorbet, or topped with fresh fruit.
Throughout the Andes, hardworking farmers withstand the chilly mountain air with the help of hot soups and stews, laden with potatoes and cheese. In the Oriente jungle, locals take advantage of whatever food they can hunt or gather. This often includes large jungle rodents, or fish from the river. For vegetables, the Oriente people sometimes eat hearts of palm, called palmitos. A dense, fibrous vegetable known as yucca makes a good side dish, steamed or fried. Plantains and bananas are readily available.
On the coast, seafood is much more common. Many dishes also feature coconut, or coconut milk. Food is often cooked over a fire, wrapped in banana leaves. Ceviche, a dish of citrus-marinated fish, is one of the most ubiquitous menu items.
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