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Ecuadorian Andean food is the result of the native products combination such as potatoes, melloco, chocho, corn and mote (boiled corn). The corn is one of the oldest foodstuffs of our people.


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PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Brockmeier

For example the communities of the Sierra developed the “chicha de jora”, “chicha de yamor”, among others licuors, which are made from fermented corn. They consume the chicha in special festivities and ceremonies. For some cultures the chicha still represents a form of adoration to the old gods.


Potatoes are historical in our country and are very used in the provinces of the Sierra. Very few communities kept alive the tradition of the potatoes’ peel, which checks if a woman is ready to marry or not depending on the amount of potatoes she peel in the shortest possible time.


All these traditional products are used for the preparation of typical dishes of the provinces of los Andes, accompanied by meat and a variety of vegetables. Thus we have: the roasted Guinea pig, which is served with potatoes and vegetables with peanut sauce.


The Locro, is a potato and cheese soup that can be accompanied with meat, eggs, lettuce and col. in Cotacachi and other communities of the Northern Sierra is served the “Carne Colorada” red meat, which is a beef meat marinated with red fruit of the achiote, accompanied with fried banana, mote and aguacate ( avocado also known as palta).


The most widespread meals of the Sierra region include soups like: “caldo de gallina” chicken stock, fish soup, vegetable soup, and the Yaguarlocro. This last one is a kind of blood (morcilla) sausage cooked. This quikwa name means blood soup. It is served with salad, rice or avocado.


Another popular soup is the “caldo de patas” soup of legs (it’s locro of potatoes with pork leg, cooked cassava, cooked corn, milk and onion). In the Holy week the traditional soup is the Fanesca. This dish is done with a variety of grains including corn, fresh peas, and in addition, a dry fish (bacalao).


Other typical dishes of the Ecuadorian sierra are: Tortilla de papa(potatoes) (Llapingacho) tortillas with hornado (pork), fritada de chancho (fried pork) tripa mishque ( gut or fresh tripe cow which is consumed after being smoked) among others.


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In the Andes of Ecuador corn and potato are traditional ingredients for the preparation of food.


In addition to these, several grains in the Sierra of Ecuador are used for the preparation of typical dishes.


In Ecuador, as well as in most of the Andes, there are at least 12 variations of corn, each has different names and acquire different flavors in a variety of typical food.

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