Saturday, October 9, 2010

So what exactly is Ecuadorian Food? ...chuta!

I have to admit, I have always identified with my Mexican half more than my Ecuadorian half because of the amazing amount of Mexican food that can be found around the city. My dad is Ecuadorian and, of course, he never learned to cook any traditional Ecuadorian dishes besides Tostado. Maiz Tostado is toasted dried corn, which is sometimes toasted in pork fat to give it some really great flavors. We had Tostado and Quinoa at home all the time, but that seemed to be the deepest I ever really dove into Ecuadorian food. As a family, we often visit Peruvian and Columbian restaurants, which share some similarities, but nothing like the real deal.

Ecuadorian Independence is celebrated on August 10th, and this year there was a big Ecuadorian Festival at Elysian Park. This gave me the perfect opportunity to finally get to explore the cuisine my father talks about allll the time! I got a little of everything on my plate from the Cerdo Hornado (Roasted Pork), Maiz Tostado (Toasted Dried Corn), Aji (Salsa), Maiz Fresco (Fresh Cooked Corn), Papa Frita (Fried Potato), y Empanadas de Queso con Platano (Cheese & Plantain Empanadas). I really loved the Cerdo Hornado, which is somewhat similar to Mexican Carnitas. It was crunchy and juicy all in one bite. It was all very delicious, but the Mexican in me kept searching for a slice of lime or some Chile de Arbol! Between you and I, Mexican food is still King in my book. But I am grateful that I had the opportunity to try the food my father loves and misses so much! :D

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