Previously, I mentioned the opportunity to experience new cuisine when one moves out of country. Prior to moving I was a little nervous about this. I am a little picky about what I eat. My girls say I have meat issues. I would probably be a vegetarian if meat didn’t taste so good, but wouldn’t we all? Then, there is my husband who feels like a meal isn’t a meal without meat. On top of that, I don’t eat fish. I just don’t like it. Never-the-less, we have moved to the coast. These concerns were put aside, and I moved with an open mind ready to try new foods, even fish.
A Typical lunch in Ecuador is soup and a main dish consisting of meat and rice. These dishes were our first venture into eating new foods. We tried all kinds of new typical soups and fish and chicken. As we got more comfortable with our new home we started venturing out. By venturing out we discovered many great new foods.
One new food is a soup that is served for breakfast. This soup is served early in the morning and when it is gone the restaurant will close for the day. We like to eat this soup for lunch, so we will stop whatever we are doing to arrive at a picanteria before noon. This soup is call encebollado, roughly translated as onion soup. It is a soup filled with tuna and other seafood like shrimp. Now, this soup is one of the foods we miss when we visit back home.
Another one of our new favorite foods is ceviche. Raw fish is cured in lime juice to make this dish. It is popular in many South American countries. Interestingly enough, each country has its own twist to the recipe, and here, in Ecuador, some cities even have their own twist. In a near by town they serve ceviche with a peanut sauce. At first, we thought that this combination sounded bad, but with our new found love of trying new foods, we made the trip and tried this new dish. Now, it too is on my list of new favorites.
I must confess though, there are some foods that I have not brought myself to try. One of these foods is Cuy. This is a popular delicacy served in the Andean mountains in Ecuador. It is guinea pig grilled over hot coals, and I’m sorry, I can’t do it. There are a few reasons why I won’t try this new dish. One, it’s a rodent. Ok, there is just one reason. I wouldn’t eat a mouse or a rat, so why would I eat a guinea pig?
I’m still really happy with my growth. Now, I find myself with my family in a new country, sitting on the sidewalk of a busy Manta street in Ecuador, eating one of my favorite new foods. And yes, it is fish. If I hadn’t put my concerns aside I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.
written by Deborah