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Ecuador: An Exotic Culinary Adventure

Aug 26, 2008
Ecuador has no prestigious wine culture like Argentina or Chile, but it has something much more interesting: Vegetables, grains and fruits you have probably never heard of. So exotic as these raw materials are, is the preparation process of the corresponding dishes. And on our tours you will get introduced to exactly all that.

Have you ever tried or even heard of exotic fruits like "Babaco", "Taxo" or "Tamarindo"? Or what about the grains like: "Chochos", "Avas" or "Garbanzos" or the vegetables "Rabano", "Pepinillo" or "Zambo"?

I promise that this experience will be so interesting and exclusive as wine tasting in one of Argentina's most spectacular winery.

I developed various options to get introduced to Ecuador's culinary art.

If you like to cook a typical ecuadorian Menu, the best way to do so, is to cook under guidance of a local chef.

This event is organized regularly in Quito in an apartment with impressive views over Quito's historic old town. During this private event, you choose together with your chef the menu you like to prepare. Then you go with your chef to a local market and buy the needed ingredients. I guarantee that the visit of the market is a lot of fun and full of interesting encounters.

At your return to the apartment, you start cooking your own lunch or dinner. The meal will be served with a waiter, and if you like, a large choice of wine is available. If your partner doesn't want to cook, I am glad to organize especially for him a few very exclusive guided visits in the old town during the time you cook. Of course your partner will join you
for the meal.

Another option is to cook at a comfortable hacienda outside of Quito. The hacienda where we organize the event is very authentic, with lots of horses, bulls and everything else you expect from a andean highland hacienda.

At the hacienda you are received by the owner himself. He will introduce you to the customs and daily life at his hacienda. Then you are invited to a local cheese tasting, of course accompanied with an excellent bottle of wine.

After the tasting, the owners asks you to follow him to his kitchen where you will taste what he is cooking, and if you wish, you can assist him. Don't eat too much in the kitchen....!

For the meal itself you join the owners family, and I assure that you will have an interesting conversation at the table. You have the possibility to stay overnight at the hacienda, and participate in one of the various activities in and around the hacienda, or you can return in the afternoon to Quito.

A very special culinary experience is the production process of various sweets in Quito, but please don't mind the calories during that day. This is an adventure in two ways: First you travel to very popular parts of the city, far away from the main tourist areas, where you visit the artisans at their work. Second, most of the sweets these artisans produce are very innovative, and will be an interesting discovery for you.

At the house of each artisan you can try the products and you have direct contact with him and often his family. During the tour you get an introduction class at the house of one of Quito's best pastry makers. This tour gives you an excellent appreciation about the daily life in Quito. This is a very spectacular day you will never forget.

For seafood lovers I organize a fascinating day in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and main port. The tour starts with a breakfast in one of the most popular breakfast eateries in the city. Try foods you probably have never eaten for breakfast. Accompanied by a well known chef, you are guided through the seafood market.

Then you visit one of the traditional places to eat a "Casuela", one of the seafood specialties from Guayaquil.

Later in the morning you visit the best place in Guayaquil to eat the typical "Ensebollado". We have to be early at this place because usually mid-afternoon the eatery is sold out.

You finish your tour in one of the favored Restaurant for Guayaquilenos. Here the specialty are plates based on Banana and Plantain. Get inspired by ideas what you can do with Banana in this extraordinary place. During this day you have personal contact with Guayaquil's best known gastronomic specialists who are in businesses for generations and are citywide and some internationally known for their excellent food.

These journeys are authentic "adventures", but obviously not for the adrenaline seeker, but for the guest who likes to discover a foreign culture through its tastes and aromas.
About the Author
Peter Lauffer, General Manager of TrueColors
in Quito - Your Expert Guide for Galapagos Cruise Travel at www.galapagostraveller.com
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