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Ecuadorian cuisine catches one’s taste for its ancestral cooking techniques still alive on its daily meals. Wrapping food on banana, corn and many other local plants leaves is one of these old days techniques still practiced on the country of the four worlds. Humitas, quimbolitos and chigüiles are some representative steamed delights whose taste basically comes from the content but also from the wrapping leaf that seasons the meal. We invite you to travel Ecuador and enjoy its many millenary recipes prepared with this method. A huge task being a country so diverse but you can start with this top 5 Ecuadorian wraps.
The soft humitas:
A preparation based on sweet corn and cheese. Its preparation allows many families to meet and share the old secrets. The corn is ground, until a dough is obtained, which will be stuffed with cheese in corn husks and then steamed. In several coffee shops in Quito and all cities, these delicacies are consumed at dusk or at breakfast, of course they are often served with an aromatic cup of coffee.
They are fluffy and sweet, good companions to enjoy a cup of chocolate, tea or coffee. Traditionally, quimbolitos are prepared with corn kernel only but some may add and extra ingredients to obtain a special dough, which is then placed on an achira leaf. Often decorated with a raisin and for its sweetness Ecuadorians enjoy it as a dessert, but being a treat you can consume it at any time any day.
This wrap comes from the Ecuadorian seaside, the coastal province of Manabí. Peanut, chicken, plantain and rice are mixed and wrapped in a banana leaf to be cooked in wood stoves. When it is prepared this way, the flavors condense inside to obtain a unique meal. This preparation was considered important and indispensable for the lunches of the Manabita`s peasants. It is currently prepared in all the manabita`s corners and is one of the delights that travelers taste in this Ecuadorian destination. A salty wrap that awakens the senses.
Prepared with a corn-based dough, lard and fresh cheese with achiote. Chigüiles are an inheritance of the indigenous culture, which has been cooking with corn since ancient times when it was sacred. The preparation is wrapped in a tender corn leaf and steamed. It is a tradition to consume these delicacies throughout the province of Bolívar from February to March, when tender corn leaves are found and it is also the time for Carnival festivities, the most representative of this province.
The strong and representative dish of Loja is the tamal. It is basically ground corn dough, which will contain a protein filling of chicken, pork or meat and various spiced vegetables. The preparation is wrapped in achira leaves and steamed. Loja and its cuisine have positioned themselves in the world for their flavors that are unique for traditional recipes that give great flavor to its food.