Adventures en Ecuadorian Gastronomia

Today, I burned part of my hair off trying to light a gas oven. Praise be to the powers that be that I didn’t scorch my eyebrows or BURN MY HOST HOUSE DOWN. Terrifying.

People here don’t really bake, so I taught a friend how to make cookies. We made oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles, and the family was FLABBERGASTED. You can make cookies? TEACH US. Three batches were gone in a day, so I felt like a pretty successful cook. Especially considering I was working with another gas oven without reliable temperature and less than my usual array of ingredients.

I’ve also had the chance to try cuy here (guinea pig, folks). Everyone makes fun of me because I’ve told them that in the states, guinea pigs are just pets–no one would think of eating them. In a hilarious exchange between my host mom here and my mom back in the states in which my mom told the story of her childhood guinea pig, henry. Henry had two babies and became Henrietta, and my mother emphatically told me to tell my host mom that “guinea pigs were some of my favorite animal friends growing up.” To which host momma Josefina replied, “but the whole world eats them!”

I have to admit, after watching them be peeled and dismembered (I couldn’t watch the actual killing) my desire to try them again was a bit tempered. Guinea pig is a really soft, suave, and greasy meat–I’m not a huge fan, but it was definitely an experience. Apparently cuy is my host mom and sister’s favorite meat . . . outnumbered.
(Following photos not for the faint of heart):

snickerdoodles! And a row of oatmeal raisin :)

snickerdoodles! And a row of oatmeal raisin 🙂

You can see now why it's called guinea 'pig'. Really looks like a little pig, doesn't it?

You can see now why it’s called guinea ‘pig’. Really looks like a little pig, doesn’t it?

Yep. Making soup.

Yep. Making soup.

Finished product!

Finished product!

One more for good measure!

One more for good measure!

What is the strangest thing you’ve tried in another country?

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This entry was published on July 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Adventures en Ecuadorian Gastronomia

  1. I lived in Ecuador back int 2001 but sadly did not get to enjoy guinea pig. The weirdest thing I’ve eaten would be the fried scorpions I had at a street market in Beijing last Winter.

    • I am not a huge fan of the guinea pig! It is a really soft and greasy meat, and I was underwhelmed by it. Fried scorpions? My goodness, I hope I would have had the courage to try those! This may be a dumb question, but were they spicy? When I think of eating them I immediately assume they would have a bit of a kick to them, but no idea if that is the case.

      • No they weren’t and come to think of it it was more grilled than fried. They were super crunchy so that took away from the fact I Was eating a bug!

        I’m not of fan of greasy meat and that’s why I don’t eat duck.

  2. Love reading your posts, Michaela! What a great adventure! I had a very similar almost-burning-my house-down situation in El Salvador when I was making cookies for my students. Ah, the trials of gas ovens.

    As far as strangest thing I’ve eaten while abroad – I was dared to eat a fish eyeball one weekend on La Isla Meanguerra, much to the entertainment of all the locals. It wasn’t that bad, but I’d prefer not to repeat that experience 🙂

    • Fish eyeball! Haha, I know, I think that a lot of times my friends and family’s favorite part of some meals is watching me try new foods and inquiring, repeatedly, “What do you think? It’s really good, right? Delicious?” haha. Seriously, the trials of gas ovens . . . I actually have shorter eyelashes, THANK GOD I don’t have a burnt off face or worse.

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