This is another one of the strongest cultural expressions in Ecuador, particular and specific to each area of the country. In the mountain range, cooking has a strong influence from the Andean world and the typical dishes are related to the Catholic festivities, a few examples being:
“fanesca” (soup) and “colada morada” accompanied by the “guaguas”, toast, “cuy asado” roasted guinea pig, “yaguarlocro” (soup), “papas con cuero” (potatoes with pig skin), geese, “mellocos” (leaf vegetable) and quinoa soup. In general, the soups, “locros” (stews), “coladas”, “chichas”, are all the basis of the cuisine in the mountain range in which grains and elements like corn, quinoa, “fréjol” (commonly known as frijoles), “papas” (potatoes), “ají” (chili), “cuy” (guinea pig) and pork, all predominate. One peculiar case is that of the cuisine in the province of Loja, where the culinary tradition is very different to the rest of the country.
Typical dishes of the area are prepared, for example “repe verde” (creamy soup), “fritada” (fried pork), “humas” (based from corn), “arvejas con guineo” (soup with bananas), “chanfaina” (stew), “mellocos” (known as balls of energy due to the vitamin B2), “sango” (yucca and corn pudding), “cecina” (jerky), “tamal” (dough wrapped in corn leaves), “miel con quesillo” (honey with cheese), “el seco de chivo” (braised goat stew) and lastly, “carne de burro” (donkey meat), for medicinal purposes.
On the Coast, the “montubia” cuisine is characteristic to the area, which is a mixture of traditions. On one side we have the Spanish tradition with “refritos” (rehash), “lácteos” (dairies), pork and yard birds; from Africa their taste for strong condiments; and from the aborigines, the use of yucca, corn, “maní” (peanuts), the way of preparing and presenting river fish, “tamales” (made with dough), and “humitas” (made with corn) wrapped in useful plant leaves known to them. The coastal cuisine is rich in dishes prepared with greens, yucca, fish, seafood and tropical fruit. The foods which stand out the most are “molo”, “el bolón de verde” (the green ball), “el caldo de bolas” (ball soup) “el caldo de la manguera” (soup with pig intestines) and “la sopa marinera” (seaside soup).
The Amazon region is characterized as having a cuisine connected to the ceremonious, and the “chontaduro”, yucca and “ayahuasca” drinks are the main ones, and the traditional cuisine incorporates wild animals such as: “guanta”, “guatusa”, “danta” (tapir), “sahino” (peccary), monkey, turtle, “ají”, “palmito” (palmetto), fish and sweets made of “naranjilla” (a plant) and “guayaba” (guava). The majority of the ethnic Amazonians preparar “ayampacos”, which is the meat of wild animal and/or fish wrapped in “bijao” leaves, and meat without seasoning, in which the vegetative leaf is extracted and the flavor and aroma are very unique.