So – plantains! They’re just one of the changes between the food here in Ecuador and the food in the US. Here, we eat plantains almost every day. I learned that there are about a million ways to eat plantains including boiled, fried as empanadas, and as “chips”. Also, I learned that there are approximately a thousand varieties of plantains. In the US, I can usually only find bananas and if I’m lucky “plantains,” but my host mom walked me through the pantry and described, at least, 5 different varieties of plantains that she currently has.
We eat a lot of fried food, which kind of surprised me. Whenever we make empanadas (either from plantains or from flour), we fry them. I’ve also eaten a variety of fried meats. The fried food is definitely an adjustment for my stomach. Because I’m not used to eating that amount of oil, it has upset my stomach quite a bit in the transition.
Rice, potatoes, and yucca are the most common starches here as opposed to bread or flour. My host family eats less rice than most families because only my host mom likes rice, but it’s a really common dish. Salad goes with every meal and fruit is served with breakfast, every day. I’ve probably been eating healthier than I usually do in the US.
I will say, I miss American food a bit. The food here definitely doesn’t have the same flavor palate or salt content as the food in the US, and I have found myself craving salty meals more than I thought I would. I had a burger, over the weekend, and it was good. But, not the same as a burger in the US. That being said, the food here is really good – especially the fruit! It’s so much more flavorful than it is in the US.
Yet, I can’t leave a post about food without giving a shout out to the seafood on the coast! I went to a beach town, last weekend, and ate some of the seafood they served. It was absolutely delicious! It was easy to tell that it was fresh and well prepared.
One thing I want to add (it’s not related) is that if anyone is interested in studying abroad (especially in Quito) please feel free to reach out to me! You can reach me at my Hope email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I would be happy to help you with anything or just to chat. When I was preparing to leave, I reached out to the person who was here in Quito last semester with questions about classes, packing, and visas (shout out to Morgan Overweg – thank you so much!) and it was very helpful for me, so I would love to help you with whatever I can.