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Food In Ecuador

Food is every in Ecuador. If you have $5 in your pocket you can easily eat for a day. Street food is extremely popular here in Ecuador and is everywhere you can possibility think. It seems like there are vendors on every street corner, bus stop and traffic intersection. Vendors will even go on city buses and long distance buses to sell their items, and at 25 cents to $1 it is a reasonable price to tied you over for a few hours.

In Ecuador there are tons of open air markets that sell everything you could think of and everything you didn't think of. If you love eating fruits and vegetables than Ecuador is the place for you. Its amazing how much fruit and vegetables are being sold at local markets and on the streets. Candies and ice cream are also in high abundance because there is nothing more that Ecuadorians love than sugar (well, maybe salt – close tie). Meat is also sold, everything from pork, beef, chicken (of course the most popular), fish and every internal/external organ known to science. You can buy it cooked, raw or if you prefer… still living. It is an experience in it's own to walk down a meat market and see what is all being prepared for the day. And its an experience all by its self to smell it. In open air markets the smell isn't as strong, but if the market is in an enclosed area… be prepared when you get to the meat section (more so if it is a hot day).

There are grocery stores of course in Ecuador. Mega Maxi is a huge grocery/department store (like a Wal-mart) located in Quito, Ecuador. Prices aren't even comparable with Mega Maxi and open market. Prices are much more in an established grocery store but safety in food quality is much better. Packaged and refrigerated unlike open markets. But I do believe that open markets have better variety in products such as fruits, vegetables and meats. Food and water safety is a concern here in Ecuador… in my next entry I will dedicate an entire blog to this subject and go in greater detail about this subject of safety concerns and personal experiences.

Portion of food. In nice restaurants the portion of food one receives is comparable to that in the United Stated. A real local restaurant or in open markets offer so much more food for your money. For example, in Riobamba, Ecuador a friend and I stopped in at a small local restaurant (usually a fix menu for breakfast and lunch) by a bus station to eat before our next bus arrived. For $2.50 each we got a drink, soup, chicken, rice, beans, and salad. This is also similar to open markets when eating there. Established restaurants are more money. Depending on the restaurant it will be around $6 to $9 and not as much food usually, but more variety. Safety as far as water purity and food handling is still questionable in all restaurants in Ecuador. Better to be safe than sorry.

In an Ecuadorian home chicken and rice is very common, simple meals. Coming from America I had to get use to smaller portions during meals, much smaller. Prepared meals consist of a lot of "loose foods" like porridges, soups and stews. The first few weeks I was consistently hungry after meals but I soon got use to portion size and the different foods. I have definitely weight but my body is now use to the portions and I feel full after these meals. Food quality can be controlled a little bit better when cooking at home because you can boil your water and know you are cleaning with clean water and meat is cooked through.

With so much food in Ecuador it is hard to not always have something to eat or snack on. Unless shopping in a grocery store, prices are very reasonable for food and meals. Though using caution is always a good practice to have.


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My name is Mauri Fabio and I live in Portland, OR. I love being outdoors and traveling to various locations. I even got my geology degree from the University of Hawai`i because I wanted a degree that would allow me to travel and be outdoors. I enjoy everything there is about traveling. The unknown directions a trip can quickly take, making friendships with new people, and the endless adventures there always seem to find me. Visiting new areas of the world gives me something to look forward to in my life. I think constantly about where the next destination is that I want to trek through and the adventures that may await me. So far I have traveled to Beijing and visited the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, endless temples and eaten foods that westerners would cringe at the sight of. I've roamed through Perú and Ecuador and stayed in various hostels, camped out in the Amazon rainforest and drove up the Ecuadorian Coast with no clue where we were going just as long as the ocean stays on our left side. I explored The Galapagos Islands and seen abundant wildlife, undertook horrid sea trips to different islands and army crawled through pitch black lava tubes. I've live in Hawai`i and explored the places to go and what the best things are to do, of course on a cheap budget. These journeys are only a fraction of the adventures I'd like to share with you and I have so much more planned for the near future. During my travels I quickly learned that stepping completely out of my comfort zone and into other people's worlds is the most satisfying way to explore.

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