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Unique ingredients in Ecuadorian cuisine


Ecuador is a country in northwestern South America, which is about seven times the size of the Netherlands. Daniel is from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. At the beginning of this year he moved to the Netherlands for love. He loves Dutch food and is a fan of the old Dutch cheese. However, "that black candy" (read: licorice) he thinks is something strange. But he is used to odd ingredients. In Ecuador they also have strange ingredients. He tells us about the odd but therefore unique and tasteful Ecuadorian cuisine.


First of all, Daniel says that food has a big place in their culture. “The dishes differ greatly per region. In the mountain area, for example, a lot of potatoes are eaten, while on the coast green bananas and fish are the main ingredients. ” In Ecuador, lunch is the most important meal of the day. Daniel: “Lunch is more important than dinner, where people sometimes only drink coffee. Several courses are often served during lunch. ”


"Several courses are often served during lunch."

Typical of Ecuadorian cuisine are the, for us, strange ingredients and dishes. In Ecuador they are not surprised when guinea pigs are on the menu. “Some of my friends love it”. In addition, in Ecuador they often eat the parts of an animal that we are used to throwing away. “A lot of traditional dishes consist of parts of animals that other people don't want to eat. This custom originated from the Spanish colonization. When Ecuador was still a colony of Spain, the powerful Spaniards got the good parts of the animal and the Ecuadorians ate the parts that remained. That is why it is not surprising if we eat a soup, for example, from a broth drawn from the organs of a cow. It may sound strange, says Daniel, but it is surprisingly delicious. His Dutch wife also had to get used to these dishes at the beginning. “When we were together in Ecuador, she ordered chicken soup. In Ecuadorian chicken soup it is common for things like chicken feet and bones to float in it. Her face twisted when it was put on the table, but afterwards she thought it was very tasty and had a lot of flavor ”.


"Coriander gives every dish the Ecuadorian flavor, the taste that feels like home"

Finally, Daniel explains that coriander is an important spice in Ecuadorian cuisine. "Coriander gives every dish the Ecuadorian flavor, the taste that feels like home." He wants to say that cooking is about experimenting. "Don't be afraid to try new things, enjoy cooking and try different flavor combinations". "And ... add coriander wherever possible," he says with a laugh.

Although the strange elements in Ecuadorian recipes are actually tasteful, Daniel has shared an accessibility family recipe especially for Smaack. Click on the photo to go to the authentic recipe for 'Ceviche'!


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