What is Dessert Like in Ecuador?

Ecuador’s most famous dessert is a traditional, fruity ice cream, made in an iced copper bowl called a paila. It is often referred to as helado, the Ecuadorian word for ice cream, although it typically contains no dairy. You’ll also see plenty of bread pudding, flan, and dulce de leche — desserts that are popular all over Latin America.

At festivals and marketplaces vendors sell heaps of homemade candy. Try espumillas, a meringue shaped like an ice cream, and served in an ice cream cone. Panela, a type of unrefined cane sugar, is a common ingredient in Ecuadorian sweets. Melcochas are sticky candies made from panela sugar, cooked with honey or molasses.

Local produce is the main ingredient in a number of popular Ecuadorian desserts. Cocados are coconut candies, sweetened with caramel. You should also try bien me sabe, a fluffy coconut cake. Its name translates to “seems good to me” in English. Dulce de guayaba is a type of candy made from guava. Morocho is a warm pudding made from corn, cooked with raisins, cinnamon, and milk. It goes perfectly with a chilly evening in the Andes.

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