Unique culinary experiences 2: Five typical dishes from the Ecuadorian Amazon

Unique culinary experiences 2: Five typical dishes from the Ecuadorian Amazon
In the Ecuadorian Amazon, you will find delicious traditional dishes that will make you feel like a local Ecuadorian.

The Ecuadorian Amazon is a territory of immersive experiences. Just by entering this region of exuberant vegetation, humid and tropical forests, abundant rivers, incomparable biodiversity and ancestral communities, you will realize this is a one of a kind territory in the world. Describing these few particularities of the Ecuadorian Amazon can make you realize that it is a colorful and magical region where nature becomes its recognizable image combined with millenary indigenous cultures. If you visit the Ecuadorian Amazon, you can combine all this with delicious traditional dishes that will make you forget you are a foreigner and instead will make you feel like a local Ecuadorian.

One of the most representative typical dishes of this territory is the “Ayampaco”. This is a wrapper that comes from the pre-Hispanic era and uses leaves from the bijao plant. Inside of the leaves you will find chicken or fish accompanied with vegetables typical of the Amazon region. These vegetables make this typical dish a unique option to experience food through its taste and smell. This recipe originates from the ancestral culture of the Shuar community and its preparation has varied very little over the years.

Typical dishes wrapped in plant leaves such as bijao are a very common preparation technique in this region of Ecuador. This ancient technique was used to speed up cooking when people were busy hunting or fishing. Another wrapper that also uses leaves from the bijao plant is the “Fish Fillet Maito”. For the preparation of this typical dish, the local people catch fish from the rivers of the Amazon like the catfish. The fish is wrapped in the bijao leaf and served with locally grown products such as yuccas or plantain.

One of the best examples that the Ecuadorian Amazon is a region where its typical dishes are a reflection of the culture and traditions of the indigenous communities is the “Yucca Casabe”. The base of this typical dish is the yucca. Women of the indigenous nationality of the Sionas carry out a complex preparation process before this delicious typical dish can be served. First, they must grate the yucca, then they use the grating and squeeze it through an instrument from an Amazon tree called “senorijati”. The product of the preparation are delicious yucca tortillas, a dish that is in the daily diet of the local people.

Let’s go back to the fish preparations. There is a typical dish called “Caldo de Pez de Agua Dulce” (Fresh Water Fish Soup). In order to make this soup the freshwater fish have to be seasoned and boiled to get a delicious concentrated taste. This typical dish comes with peanuts, eggs and yucca. The type of fish used for this dish is called “Corroncho” and can be easily found in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Indigenous communities like the Shuar used this typical dish in many of their rituals and traditional festivities.

Let’s finish this gastronomic tour through the Ecuadorian Amazon with another typical soup. “Uchumanka” is a traditional soup made with fish or chicken and chilli. Other elements that accompany this dish are yucca, plantain, palm heart and mushrooms such as “kallamba”. If you want to taste a typical Ecuadorian Amazon dish in a traditional restaurant, we recommend you try this soup that is prepared in the province of Orellana in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Do you feel like entering a magical natural world where an infinite number of animal and plant species coexist harmoniously with ancient cultures? Give yourself the opportunity to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon and don’t forget to try these typical dishes in order to fully experience this privileged territory. Follow us for more tips

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