What is Ecuadorian Food Like?

Unlike much of Latin American cuisine, Ecuadorian food is not known for its spiciness. Instead, Ecuadorian palettes relish sweet local fruits and savory grilled meats. But you can always add spicy ají hot sauce to your dish; a condiment available almost everywhere in Ecuador.

For breakfast, Ecuadorians typically eat something simple, like bread and butter. The largest meal of the day is lunch, and necessitates a short nap to recover. Street food is extremely popular, and the smell of skewered meat and deep-fried plantains waft from roadside stands.

Most main dishes include meat and potatoes. Slices of avocado or a fried egg will add some color to the meal. It’s not always easy to find food for vegetarians, or for someone who prefers to eat lightly.

Ecuador serves up a variety of soups and stews, such as locro, chupe, sopa, mazamorra, and sopa seca. Caldo is usually made with a clear broth, simmered with meat, grains, and vegetables. Each of these dishes varies according to the cook. Sometimes soups will contain ingredients not usually seen in North America, like blood or organs.

If you’re on the coast, try some of the local seafood. Fish stews and soups are quite common. You’ll also find fish fried in dense fritters, called corviche.

Ecuadorians typically eat a diet rich in carbohydrates. In addition to potatoes, Ecuadorian cooks serve meals with quinoa, barley, and hominy. Some varieties of corn here have large kernels, and these often round out simple, rustic meals.

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