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eG Food Blog: Panaderia Canadiense (2011)

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#121 JTravel

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 03:37 PM

Not saying I crave the cuy, but every bit of your week was so interesting. I look forward to updates on your life (and food) in your new and exotic (to us) home. For now, I want some of that ice cream.
Thanks

#122 Viktoria

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 03:52 PM

Yours was an amazing food blog. Absolutely made me want to visit!

#123 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 03:55 PM

We're not done yet, folks - you've got me until the end of Sunday!

Linda - absolutely chocolate fountains, wherever there's a uground outlet available.
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My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#124 heidih

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:05 PM

The pottery - oh my!

The red chiles coming out of the roasted pig's ears - going to borrow that one.

Is the fountain chocolate of decent quality or is it more for show?

You may have pushed me over the edge to use plantains, and also to rethink my banana aversion. I have had a banana fried in a thin dough wrapper right out of the fryer from a Vietnamese shop and enjoyed it. Perhaps I need better bananas or a contrasting flavor to perk it up.

#125 Tri2Cook

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:11 PM

This has been really enjoyable. I love reading through a food blog from a place I've never been. Everyday ordinary things to the person blogging have me constantly thinking "Wow! What's that?" and I realize (once again) just how much there is in the food world that I know nothing about. And for some reason I'm feeling like I now have to make Guaguas de Pan...
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#126 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:48 PM

The pottery - oh my!

The red chiles coming out of the roasted pig's ears - going to borrow that one.

Is the fountain chocolate of decent quality or is it more for show?

You may have pushed me over the edge to use plantains, and also to rethink my banana aversion. I have had a banana fried in a thin dough wrapper right out of the fryer from a Vietnamese shop and enjoyed it. Perhaps I need better bananas or a contrasting flavor to perk it up.


The pictured fountain was running 75% cacao flor de amazonia chocolate, which is quite good. Others at the fair were on 65% cacao Arriba de El Oro and 65% cacao Fino de Aroma. Ecuador is one of the world's finest cocoa producers, and accordingly the citizenry is normally quite well educated and picky about their chocolate.

Heidi, I bet your banana aversion comes from only having nasty, icky Cavendish and Gran Nain bananas easily available. You'll notice that I didn't buy anything of the sort at any of the markets I visited - it's because I detest the texture and flavour of those types. I'd reccomend looking for Manzano, Pisang Mas, Baby, Red/Rosado/Morado or Orinoco/Lemon bananas at your local ethnic markets. All of these have superior flavour and texture; Manzano, from Hawaii, is decidedly apple-influenced, while Pisang Mas and Baby (Malaysian and South American) are more like vanilla and tropical fruit, and the red-skinned types are the kings of banana - creamy, vanilla-chocolate hints, with a smooth, light banana finish. Orinoco (Venezuela) is more citrus-y.

On the plantain front, if you're selecting green ones look for a minimum of blackened portions on the skin. Semimaduros should be uniformly yellow of skin but firm of texture when pressed gently (the same way you'd test an avocado.) Fully maduro plantains should have at least 40-50% black on the skins. The most available plantain in NorAm is French Horn, but if you're very lucky at the Oriental markets you'll find Saba, which are shorter and triangular. Saba are the Filipino ambrosia banana, and they're all-round fantastic.

The Ecuadorian approach to banana is to use it out of normal context - Silk plantains, which are quite similar to Gran Nain (Chiquita bananas) are often sliced into savoury seafood soups, for example, where they provide a hit of sweetness to offset the richness of the soup.

I'd also reccomend Maduro Frito, which I will make as part of tomorrow's dinner. This is ripe plantain fried until it caramelizes and gets all nice and crunchy on the outside. It's outstanding.

(Wow, am I obsessed much with bananas? You bet. I'm the editor in chief of Bananas Quarterly, a magazine devoted to the fruit, for both amateur and professional growers.)
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#127 heidih

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:55 PM

but if you're very lucky at the Oriental markets you'll find Saba, which are shorter and triangular. Saba are the Filipino ambrosia banana, and they're all-round fantastic.


Yes! I often see the triangular ones at the markets. Will give them a try soon. Thank you.

#128 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:45 AM

All apologies - I've been quite busy on the business end of my life of late, and so there haven't been updates since breakfast yesterday! So here goes - a day's eating compressed into a single post.

I'd also like to talk a bit about the rather uniquely Ecuadorian practice of La Yapa. La Yapa is the little bit extra that vendors throw in to sweeten a deal - at markets, you can actually request it of vendors who you think might be shorting you a bit (¿Y la yapa?). It is often, but not always, a little more of whatever you're buying, but can also be a sample of something completely different - for example, on Monday when I bought passionfruits, the grannie threw in a ripe tomato as la yapa.

Yesterday's lunch was an Ecuadorian staple snack - pressed sandwiches. Normally when one buys a fridge and stove, the store will throw in small appliances as La Yapa, and that's how I came by my sandwich press (and also my spare blender, pressure cooker, rice cooker, spare steam iron, and hand mixer). It's an absolute godsend! I can't imagine now how I managed to live without one for so long, because pressed sandwiches are on the whole much better than cold ones. My press is missing its lower handle (it overheated one day and it simply snapped off when I closed the press - that's what I get for wanting a hot sandwich on a 45 degree centigrade day!), so I'm actually also looking for a new one - it appears I'll be able to replace it for about $20 since I don't need anything fancy.

Anyhoo - on with the sandwich! This was two cheese with wine-roasted turkey breast (I love my deli counter, I really do). The bread is the 7-grain I made last Sunday, which explains why I was toasting it - it gets a little overmoist as it ages (I blame the barley), and is simply better heated as it approaches the week mark.
Bread.jpg
SandwichesPressing.jpg

Accompanying the sandwich (which was delicious), was a nice pot of Horchata, a pleasant blended tisane from Loja that I've gone on about at length in the herbal tea thread. It was the first pot of tea in the new tortoise teapot, which performed admirably.
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Teatime2.jpg

Dinner was simple reheats - the remains of the roast chicken dinner, reconstituted here as hot chicken "sandwiches" over the remaining mashed potatoes and stuffing. Nothing terribly exciting, I'm afraid, but it was very tasty nonetheless. Salad on the side, of course - must have greens! I did mine with a simple balsamic vinagrette, and Mom decided on grated parmesan cheese.
Dinner.jpg
Salad2.jpg
Salad1.jpg

Which brings us around to... Sunday Brekkie, one more time. Today it was fruit salad, since we somehow managed to finish the week with a pineapple and mangoes still in the fridge! (This is a very rare occurrence - I blame the feriada and abundance of bread babies.)
FruitSalad-Nekkid.jpg
FruitSalad-Dressed.jpg
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#129 Darienne

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:00 AM

Don't leave us PanaCan. This is way too much fun to read and dream about. If only...if only...I would love to visit you in Ecuador. If there are places I like, they are high upland deserts with mountains. And you have it in spades.

And all that wonderful food! The stuff you make and the stuff you can buy!!! Oh my.

Never heard of Horchata tea so I will have to look it up on the other thread. Yesterday I made my first Horchata. I had had it only once before in a small Mexican restaurant in Utah and thought it was dreadful. This stuff, under the watchful eye of a Jalisco chef, was wonderful!!!

But tea???

ps. Looked at your tea recipe. Not in east central Ontario you don't. Mind-numbing.

Edited by Darienne, 06 November 2011 - 09:06 AM.

Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#130 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:03 AM

Ah yes... Ecuadorian Horchata has absolutely nothing to do with Mexican Horchata - the former is 42 herbs and flowers, while the latter is a rice-based colada. The Ecuadorian one, as far as I can tell, originates in the highland province of Loja and is served both hot and cold. Lojanos say that a cup of Horchata a day keeps you out of the doctor's office for life, and they ought to know - Lojanos regularly live to 110 or so.

Darienne, the most expensive part of Ecuador is getting here - and we're not even that much more expensive than Mexico, flying out of Toronto on Air Canada with a changeover in Bogota (which is how I go when I have to come back to Canada - fingers crossed, I won't have to!)

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense, 06 November 2011 - 09:05 AM.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
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#131 andiesenji

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:34 AM

This has been a week of eye-opening food adventures and has made me wish I could visit your city.
(Unfortunately I suffer from altitude sickness so anything higher than 6500 ft is not for me.)

The pottery is stunning and I too could spend a fortune there, as well as at the stainless steel shop, the spice shops, and so on.

I know you have the remainder of the day to get through but I may be going out a bit later today so wanted to put in my thanks for your stupendous blog.

Also, not sure I could live comfortably so near a volcano that has been so destructive in the past, I am a big chicken when it comes to that type of hazard.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#132 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:56 AM

Ah, but I'm 25 km distant. Tungurahua has never done more than rain ash on Ambato - we're three valley systems away from it, so lahar and lava flows are never a problem. When she's erupting, I don't visit anywhere closer than Pelileo - I'm also a big chicken! All in all, though, if I'm going to be afraid of a volcano, I'll be afraid of Cotopaxi. She's currently inactive, but is overdue for an eruption (the period appears to be about every 500 years), and when she goes the sky will be blackened and the rivers flow as mud, and I'll be trapped in Ambato until the eruption subsides. She's more on the scale of Mt. St. Helens when she erupts.

Andie, there are remedies for altitude sickness here. While it's illegal in the US and Canada, Mate de Coca saved my life when I got here - have I mentioned I'm from about 500 feet above sea level, naturally? Mate de Coca cured my altitude sickness problems completely; I still drink it when I'm feeling fatigued but no longer rely on it to keep the headaches at bay. Of course, after 4 years in this rarified air, when I visit the beach I'm superwoman. However, on some trips I also get reverse soroche - I start to feel funny and get blinding headaches as the oxygen content of the air increases, and generally then I'll be reaching for the thermos.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense, 06 November 2011 - 09:58 AM.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
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#133 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:31 AM

Lunch today falls under the "gee, you're a huge lazybones today, Beth!" category. These are Lobster Thermidor flavoured instant ramen noodle packs. Not quite cheesey enough for me, but still quite tasty, and they do have little chunks of dehydrated lobster in the broth, which is a big plus.
Lunch2.jpg
Lunch.jpg
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
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#134 Pierogi

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:35 PM

Sorry I'm so late with my "gracias", but I've been down for the count this week, I'm afraid. I did note your suggestions for my effusively perfumed guava haul. I'll keep them in mind for when they start rolling in. Thank you ! And thanks for sharing your week with us. Loved it all.
--Roberta--
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#135 Anna N

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:58 AM

Cannot remember when I have enjoyed a blog as much as I have enjoyed yours. Thanks so much for pulling out all the stops for us.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#136 percyn

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 04:13 AM

Though I have only been able to peek throughout the week, it has been enlightening and fun. Will have to go back and read in more detail.

Thank you.

#137 blue_dolphin

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 05:42 AM

Thank you so much for the time and effort invested to create this wonderful blog in a slice of the world completely new to me. I've learned tons! For example, I always thought lagniappe, that term for a little extra used in Louisiana came from a French word. Following up on your description of "la yapa" taught me that it actually originates with the language of the Andes, then into Spanish and finally into Louisiana Creole French. Very interesting.

You've also made me want to travel to Ecuador to see these places and try the wonderful food.

Not sure if you'll have time to answer my question, but a 2008 NYTimes travel piece, "Meals and Wheels on Avenue of the Volcanoes" mentions street food vendors charging one price to nacionales or locals and a higher price to güeros or "foreigners of European decent." Is that a practice that exists in your area and if so, what price do vendors charge you and your family?

Thanks again!

Edited by blue_dolphin, 07 November 2011 - 05:42 AM.


#138 brucesw

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 05:59 AM

All this week I have been wondering if my head was going to explode from all I was trying to take in. Between your blog and the continuing reports of Percyn from India, it has been a 'must-read' week on eG and I thank you (both).

I think I would love Ecuador just for the variety of bananas and potatoes but obviously there is much more.

Sadly, I do not know of any restaurant or grocery store offering anything from Ecuador here so I don't know if I'm going to be able to try much of this for myself.

Edited by brucesw, 07 November 2011 - 06:00 AM.


#139 Country

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:00 AM

This has been my favorite of all the food blogs and, like so many others here, really, really makes me want to visit there! Thanks for all your time and so many great pics!

#140 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:32 AM

Not sure if you'll have time to answer my question, but a 2008 NYTimes travel piece, "Meals and Wheels on Avenue of the Volcanoes" mentions street food vendors charging one price to nacionales or locals and a higher price to güeros or "foreigners of European decent." Is that a practice that exists in your area and if so, what price do vendors charge you and your family?

Thanks again!


Ah, the Gringo Tax. We are pretty much the only resident extranjeros (people from the exterior) in Ambato, besides a small group of missionaries who basically keep to themselves. This means that the vendors all know us and have come to the conclusion that we're Ambateños of lighter skin, which means that we pay the same price as nationals. In other towns, whether the Gringo Tax is levied depends on whether the vendors think you're a tourist - which will come down to how you dress, what you're carrying, and what kind of accent you've got in your Spanish. It will also come down to whether you're willing and ready to haggle - la rebaja is culturally ingrained and expected in many situations. I have often removed the Gringo Tax by simply asking, slightly scornfully in my flawless Lojano-accented Spanish, where the vendor thinks I'm from exactly, and sometimes I also ask what makes them think I speak English. Loja and El Oro provinces have large populations of tall, fair-haired Ecuadorians left over from Swiss mining concerns in the 40's and 50's - I easily pass for southern. It's all part of the game, which is both expected and enjoyed.

Glancing through that article, there are a couple of other glaring problems - first of all, bus fares. Those are government regulated at $1 per hour of travel, and tourists pay the same rate as locals - if the author saw different fares being charged, it was to the elderly and students, who are entitled to a 50% discount. I was here when that article was written, and there was absolutely no price differential on the interprovincial busses - and if any of the companies tried it, their competition would have immediately alerted the transit police. Fare fixing is something that causes bus lines to go out of business.

He's also mistaken about the long thin empanadas - those are a specialty of Pelileo, and are buckwheat bread filled with black Panela, which turns to a sticky molasses jam while the empanadas cook on their clay tablets. I regret to say that this week the empanada sellers had completely disappeared from the city - these are something I wanted to share with everybody.

I'm left with the impression that the author must have really seemed to be a tourist, and that he knew absolutely nothing about the bargianing culture here. In almost all cases, if a walking or street vendor names a price that you think is too high, you can haggle with him to bring it down to the national price - it's part of the pleasure of shopping. This is especially true when you see one price charged to locals - you can often simply ask the seller outright why you're being taxed, and you'll get the national price. I haggle for just about everything at the markets (apart from vendors I know and return to, because they have good produce and don't treat me like a tourist), and certainly I haggle cuy. He was blatantly ripped off if he paid $20 for a whole cuy - the going rate in 2008-2009 in Cuenca was $10 for a whole cuy with a family-size amount of potatoes; $8 in Ambato for a superior cuy (although it seems he skipped the city, as most tourists do).
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
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#141 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:46 AM

And with this, dear readers, I'm off into the rainy wilderness of market day once again, and shall leave the blogging of the coming week in somebody else's capable hands.

This was great fun for me, and I'm glad you all enjoyed it as well. I shall definitely return next year to show you another slice of life here in Ecuador. Any of you who are serious about coming to visit should PM me - I'd love to show you around.

Cheers, and happy eating!
Beth
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#142 nikkib

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:00 AM

amazing week Beth - really eye opening, informative and mouth wateringly delicious!
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#143 blue_dolphin

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:22 AM

Thanks a bunch for the last minute answers and clarifications at the tail end of this very busy blog!

#144 heidih

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:48 AM

Our culinary horizons have been exponentially expanded. Thank you!





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