The exotic flavors of Puyo

Our country has earned worldwide gastronomic recognition for its variety. Choosing a representative dish would be a difficult task when it comes to Ecuadorian cuisine. It is a tiny, compact country yet a very productive land that reflects its agricultural richness on its plates and sweets. To start a sort of list or first glimpse to Ecuadorian flavors we can divide them by its provinces and regions.  (Versión en español)

We invite you to #DiscoverEcuadorFromHome and sketch out a bucket list of Ecuadorian all time favorite dishes to try after lockdown. This time we‘ll start with Puyo and its exotic flavors, in the Amazonian province of Pastaza, a region with many ancestral recipes that we still prepare. 

In our gastronomic map we‘ll find «maito» as a representative dish of this area, a fish or other meat wrapped in a «wijao»bananapalm or «shiguango» leaf and slowly cooked over a charcoal grill. In fresh water and tropical environments fish and shrimp can thrive. «Bocachico», «guanchiche», «carachama» and «jandia» are some of the local catch we can find on maito preparations. It is usually served with fried plantain, cassava, palm hearts and chili.

When traveling around Ecuador you’ll find that some of our best meals are served right on the street. Streetfood is thing in Ecuador and when it comes to Puyo the old fashioned «meat on a stick» comes to a whole new level. The exotic «pinchos» of «chontacuro» (worms that grow in chonta palms with high natural fat content) are cooked right in front your eyes over the grill. It’s a local delicacy you should definitely give a try. Specially because it‘s said it has many nutritional and healing properties.

Most of our Amazonian products are locally harvested by its people, including cassava, a root that is used all over this green and rainy region. Thus, in Puyo you’ll find this ingredient on several dishes on a leading or supporting role. When it doesn’t comes on a plate then it‘s probably served on a glass as chicha, an ancient traditional drink.

Another very famous dish in Puyo is the «volquetero«, a lupine ceviche that is served with canned tuna. As you may infer, this is a recently created meal that resulted from the necessity of a fast and «ready for many spoons» meal for dump truck drivers related to the routes and bridges constructions, hence its name which translates as «dump tracker».

On the spirit of a communal fast and nutritious mealdrivers and other construction related profesionales used to mix locally bought lupines, «chochos«, with chopped red oniontomato, coriander and lemon; served with plantain chifles and «tostado» (fried corn). It’s a dish often served on a bowl with many spoons and side plates to emphasize on its communal origin. We may add a glass of «guayusa» a local refreshment made of guayusa leafs and a touch of lemon. 

This is a diverse and productive land where many of our emblematic products come. Organic high quality cocoa, coffeeguayusa and sugar are some of the ingredients that from this province. Sugar cane being one of the most representative for the production of sugar, local sweets and cane liquor. 

Puyo is one of the  destinations in the Ecuadorian Amazon that keeps its ancestral traditions on its daily life. This makes it an attractive destination for culture and local cuisine enthusiasts. Today we can only get to know its gastronomy from home, but we invite you to take note because Puyo and its exotic flavors will surely be on the list of places to visit when we are able to travel again.

Today #DiscoverEcuadorFromHome and share our content.

Puyo travel guide in spanish.

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