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Panaderia Canadiense

eG Food Blog: Panaderia Canadiense (2011)

144 posts in this topic

Can't wait to see the markets and street food, have never made it to south America although my brother spent a year or so mostly based in Peru but travelling extensively including Ecuador and it sounds great!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I love the look of that packet of Guayusa leaves in the photo above. When you brew it, do you measure by number of leaves, or do you crush it and measure by spoonful?

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Great blog PanCana! Looking forward to more.

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I, too, very much enjoy your posts here, and the uniqueness of your story.

I've actually traveled a bit around Ecuador, and really loved Quito. I'm curious as to why you chose Ambato.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Sorry about the long lapse in posts, folks - just after I posted about the Guayusa, I started the day's shopping and errands, and I've only just gotten home. I'll be back momentarilly with a barrage of photos from the market, downtown, and Baños.

So the artesanal classification allows for home-based production? That is most logical in a country with deep culinary tradition and trust in it's home cooks. Laws regarding the selling of home-prepared foods are finally relaxing here in North Eastern USA.

Absolutely. More than 75% of the country's food industry is cottage-type, and the food regulation agency trusts home cooks implicitly. Many of the best foods in this country can't really be produced industrially, so it just makes better sense to let the smallholders do it. There are some towns where the entire economy revolves around small producers of specialty products - a good example is Salinas de Bolívar, which is justifiably famous for its handmade cheeses. Baños, which I visited today, is famous for sugarcane taffy and other cane-related products that can only be made by hand.

When it comes down to brass tacks, I actually trust the home-based producers more than the industrial ones. The quality control with smallholders is much stricter.

I love the look of that packet of Guayusa leaves in the photo above. When you brew it, do you measure by number of leaves, or do you crush it and measure by spoonful?

In my diffuser teapot, about half of a single fold of leaves makes a perfect pot, and I don't crush them (it's hell to clean that filter basket if I do) - I just slide them in whole. That pot makes 4 large mugs of brew, which is exactly the right amount of Guayusa for any given day.

Why Ambato?

Actually, it came about kind of by accident. Just before moving to Ambato, I lived in Puyo, which is in the upper Amazon basin about 2.5 hours downhill of Ambato. I lived there during a periodic drought, which in Puyo (a city whose name translates as "rainclouds") meant that daytime highs were in the realm of 50 C with 98% humidity. As I'm from Northern Canada, I'm in no way acclimated to that kind of temperature, and neither are my folks. Hence, we cast about for a slightly cooler place to live. Ambato won out because it's a lovely dry city that goes up to 40, 45 C maximum, and since it's a dry heat it doesn't feel like we're living in a pressure cooker. The bonus for me is that Ambato's atmospheric pressure rarely varies more than 5 kPa from day to day, regardless of climate (living at 3,000 meters has to have at least one advantage, no?), which means that my bread turns out perfectly every single time.

I'll also say that we've grown to love the rhythm of the city. It's probably the least touristic destination in the country, which means we don't have to deal with groups of lost gringoes, high prices, and the snobbery of the tourist cities (the difference in attitude alone between Ambato and, say, Cuenca, is enormous.) This is largely due to a 8.5 earthquake in 1949 that all but leveled the city; it has few historic buildings left and hence it's often passed over by tourists, or only experienced as a pass-through on the way to more "interesting" places. Guidebooks refer to Ambato as a dingy, industrial town with little to reccomend it - how wrong they are! Ambato is an incredibly vital commercial center, and it's also an agricultural hub. For me that makes it much more interesting than a place with perfectly preserved churches but little real cultural life.


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Market time! I had a quick breakfast of a Guagua de Pan (bread baby), which I made from dough ends off of yesterday's seven grain bread. It's filled with a mixture of semisweet couberture chocolate (cacao Arriba de aroma, which is one of the finest nibs grown in the Amazon), freshly milled Ishpingo-bark Cinnamon (more on this in a bit), walnuts, and panela. I'll explain more about Guaguas and the why of them tomorrow - they're part of the Day of the Dead celebration.

Monday-Breakfast.jpg

Then it was off to the Mercado Mayorista (literal translation: Bulk Market) for Gran Feria. Normally the Mayorista sells only by caselots or quintal (100 lb) sacks, but on Mondays it's open to whatever small quantity seller wishes to occupy space. This means that it's possible to buy directly from the farmers, all grouped into a convenient area. The Gran Feria occupies about 1/4 of the entire Mayorista, which is in and of itself the size of about 3 football fields. It's so big that it's visible from space.

The List

The List - Before.jpg

Coming into the market. The area is divided by Naves, large rooves that cover either open-air spaces or enclosed stores. They're lettered for ease of reference, and each Nave houses a specific food group. The one in this picture is Nave E, which is domestic onions, garlic, and shallots in 50 to 100 lb sacks.

Market-ComingIn.jpg

As you walk downhill, you'll encounter the Carnicerias, or meat-sellers. I do not buy meat here, for reasons that should be fairly obvious - I find chickens that hang in the sunshine and meat in the open air to be a bit iffy. If that makes me a snob, then so be it. I can live with that.

Market-Meat Sellers.jpg

The first of the areas where I do my shopping is Nave J, the dry-goods, grains, and spice sellers.

Bulk sellers.jpg

This is Especerias Doña Clarita, run by my friend Kleber, a master miller and Food Engineer. This is where I buy yeast, all of my specialty flours, and many of the nuts, dried fruits, and spices that I use. That's Kleber on the left.

Kleber.jpg

He also sells three grades of Panela in blocks, and a number of fairly exotic spices.

Panela and Spices.jpg

Moving downhill again is Nave M, Domestic fruits and vegetables.

Domestic Fruit and Veg.jpg

I priced the Pitahaya (Dragonfruit) here, but they were too expensive this week for me to buy them. In two or three weeks more, they'll be three for a dollar instead of $3 a pound. Oh well...

Pitahaya.jpg

Moving down again is Nave Q, Leafy Greens and Herbs.

Lettuces and Herbs Caselot.jpg

This nave is the beginning of the Feria Grande. The sisters in this photo are from Pelileo, about 20 minutes downhill, and they're selling their family's accumulated week's harvest. We bought carrots from them.

The Sisters.jpg

Another installment after dinner!


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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What a great market, how lucky you are.

So how did you learn about the food of Ecuador, once you'd moved there? It seems a world away from northern Canada, but you seem very knowledgeable and comfortable with its culinary traditions.



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So how did you learn about the food of Ecuador, once you'd moved there? It seems a world away from northern Canada, but you seem very knowledgeable and comfortable with its culinary traditions.

Actually, we took a vacation before deciding to move, to sort of "test the waters" as it were, and we left the major urban centers almost immediately. That meant that in addition to learning the language quickly out of sheer necessity, we ate a great deal of what Ecuadorians call "Tipico" or "Platos Tipicos" (literally translated, "Typical Plates," figuratively, "Traditional Food"), which is what one will normally find offered in the comedores (small family-run restaurants, usually 3-4 tables) in any given small town. Pair that with an exuberant wish to try everything at least once, it meant that our learning curve on Ecuadorian traditional foods was pretty steep. Because I'm willing to try everything that I have never heard of before, I've eaten some really astoundingly good things (Corviche comes to mind; this is peanut-braised fish inside spicy green plantain breading, fried.) I've also eaten things that I will never touch again (Caldo de Patas is a good example - this is beef hoof soup.)

The other thing that has helped me immensely is that my initial Spanish lessons occurred in the kitchen of my Lojana friend Beatriz - she taught me to cook while teaching me to speak, and was a fountain of interesting information about the culinary traditions of the country. Actually, the 12-hour cafecito that I was referring to upthread happened at her mother's house!


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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And now, Market: Part II. Sorry about the delay, folks - I passed out on the sofa after dinner and didn't regain consciousness until about 1 am.... :rolleyes:

Heading into the main fray of the market, one finds the herb sellers. This week it was important to pay them a visit, since I needed the herb bundles for Colada Morada (more on this when I catch up to today - it's a project)

Herb Sellers.jpg

Also here were folks selling Guaguas de Pan that were made in a traditional wood-fired clay dome oven.

Guaguas.jpg

Up from there are Maria and Mr. Mango (he actually refers to himself that way!) - Maria sells mixed fruit, and Mr. Mango has mangoes, canteloupes....

Maria.jpg

MrMango.jpg

and Ubos (known to other tropical countries as Natal Plums or Mombins)

Ubos.jpg

Maria also sells bananas by the bunch - these are a type called Seda or Silk Plantain, which are similar to export-types.

SedasByBunch.jpg

Continuing up the naves, other exotic things are on offer: pastel de hoja (leaf cake, a type of chocolate-plantain cake baked in multiple layers of plantain leaf)

PastelHoja.jpg

Guayabana, aka Soursop

Guayabana.jpg

There are also vendors whose entire weekly income depends on this Feria.

Limes and Beans.jpg

Continuing upwards, there are the Caluma orange sellers and sellers of mixed fruit. The aisle shot gives you an idea of the chaos in this market - it's often a scrum to get the things you want, particularly heading into holidays. For this reason, I don't have a photo of the pineapple-sellers: I had to push my way into a huge clump of people in order to get my chance to bargain for the white-flesh types I prefer.

Aisles1.jpg

Caluma Oranges.jpg

And then one reaches what we call "bananalandia" - the coastal sellers of banana and plantain. In this first photo, apart from Guabos (ice-cream beans), there are four types of yellow-skinned cooking bananas - Seda, Limon, Dominicano, and FHIA-21.

LimenoSedaPlatanoGuabo.jpg

Guabos are also one of my favourite fruits, with pulp that tastes almost exactly like vanilla ice-cream.

Guabos.jpg

And then there are the Oritos, which I bought. North Americans know a similar type as "Baby" bananas.

Oritos.jpg

Heading up again, we come to Anita, who sells the best strawberries in the market. She didn't want her picture taken, but here are her berries!

Strawberries.jpg

Heading up some more, there are the fish sellers (who I also normally avoid - fish in the hot sun, anyone?) This week featured prawns, shrimp, and corvina,

FishSellerPrawn.jpg

Ocean perch, and

FishSellerPerch.jpg

Flying fish.

FishSellerFlying.jpg

There are also more sellers of sierra fruits.

Fruit Seller.jpg

And we've almost made it out of the lower Feriada!

Upslope.jpg

Up top, there are more mixed sellers.

UpTop.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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And also Manuelo, our friendly neighbourhood Azucero (sugar man) - he runs the trapiche (mill) for the Valle Hermoso region, and sells his panela in the market on Mondays. I buy both milled and block panela from him; this week he had only the blonde grade of both.

Panela.jpg

There's also Mercedes, from whom I (and a number of high-end restaurants) buy eggs. Those stacks are cube-flats of 30 eggs each layer.

Eggs.jpg

Heading out, there are a number of tasty things on carts. Among them, charcoal-grilled maduros

Bananacue.jpg

And young coconuts, for drinking.

CoconutCart.jpg

And the edges of the market are also alive with food.

HangingStuff.jpg

Here's the haul! All told, this (plus the non-pictured eggs and herbs) came to $28.60.

TheHaul.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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What a great market!! I've never seen anything like it. And the bagged shrimp look just like Maine shrimp. Amazing.

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The next stop after the market was downtown for a couple of errands. Of course, any time I'm downtown I use the excuse that when downtown one can't be there and not have Helado de Paila! Sr. Segundo Oña and his family have operated this ice-cream cart at the corner of the Cathedral for more than 50 years, and you can have any flavour you wish so long as it's Mora (Andean blackberry). A generous scoop on a handmade cone is 50 cents.

Downtown.jpg

Helados.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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You think maybe Ambato is the Garden of Eden? What a market! Such produce! OMG!!! And the panela... :wub:

Tried the new trick I learned on an Indian Jaggery website about heating the Panela in the microwave to soften it. Saves so much time and arm work. But then you probably knew it anyway.

I do envy you. On so many counts. Am enjoying this blog immensely and it's scarcely begun!


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Could well be a corner of the garden, Darienne....

Once we got back from downtown, it was time to go to Baños to deliver the bread, brownie, cookies, and bagels. Baños (or, to give it it's full name, Nuestra Señora de los Baños de Agua Santa, ''Our Lady of the Holy Water Baths) is a hotsprings and sugar town nestled at the foot of active Volcán Tungurahua, which gives the town its mineral springs. Baños is located on the headwaters of the Río Pastaza, one of Ecuador's main Amazon tributaries. Foodwise, it's a mecca for sweets lovers, and is known across the country for its Melcochos and other sugarcane-based confections.

Banos Is Here.jpg

We had lunch at Cafe Ali Cumba, a hidden gem off the central square. It's a lunch spot, offering some of the best sandwiches in town, and is one of the only places to get a nice hot mug of Chai outside of Quito. Vibeke, the owner, bakes her own whole-wheat bread. It's also one of the few places to get a really good cup of coffee in the valley - fresh ground and straight into the nifty upright espresso machine.

AliCumba-Outside.jpg

AliCumba-Menu.jpg

I opted for Ham and Cheese

AliCumba-Sammidges2.jpg

Mom went with Tuna Salad (and obviously enjoyed it!)

AliCumba-Sammidges.jpg

AliCumba-Chai.jpg

After lunch, we stopped to chat with Marcelo, a master Melcochero (taffymaker) on Av. Maldonado. He's been making traditional panela taffy for at least 40 years in this same location, although he now also sells swimsuits for forgetful hotsprings goers. Marcelo says the following: one bundle of thirty canes is $45. One cane yeilds 2 L of fresh juice, and 1 L of juice makes 1/4 L of panela syrup. 30 L of syrup makes enough taffy for 50 packs of 5 sticks each. One stick of Melcocho in about 2 inches wide by 5 long. He was kind enough to let us photograph the process of whipping Melcocho, and to give us little tastes throughout the process. These are primarily stop-motion photos, since the actual process of flinging the taffy is incredibly fast.

PullingTaffy1.jpg

Taffy-Pulling Stop Motion1.jpg

PullingTaffy Stop Motion2.jpg

The melcocho begins the colour of molasses and through the pulling and whipping process it gradually lightens up to a pale blonde colour. At the end of the first photo, the texture is still very gummy; at the end of the second photo, it's similar to saltwater taffy, and at the end of the third it's approaching its final texture which is smooth, chewy, and just a bit brittle. Marcelo is one of the few Melcocheros who refuses to use artificial flavours in his confections, preferring instead for the natural richness of the panela to shine through.

Snapping the Melcocho into sticks

SnappingTaffy.jpg

Marcelo's wife makes the other sweets that are available at the stand - among them peanut and molasses brickle balls, sesame molasses balls, sticky coconut-ginger-molasses balls, guava pate de fruit, boiled milk sweets, and turrón (a honey, egg-white, and walnut confection). They also import heavy Mora syrup from the northern city of Ibarra (which is famous for it.) We took an assortment of molasses balls home.

Melcochos2.jpg

Melcochos.jpg

GuavaMilkSweets.jpg

GuavaTaffy.jpg

SesameSweets.jpg

Arrope.jpg

On the way out of town are the cane stands, many of which have their own steel trapiches. These vendors sell fresh-expressed cane juice, melcochos, guava sweet, and Macerado, a lightly-fermented cane beer. The whole canes shown here are typical of the area, and are about 8 feet long.

CaneStands.jpg

Trapiche and Cane.jpg

There was also a lone Cevichochos and Fritada cart. The fritada smelled excellent, but I was still too full from lunch to consider it!

Cevichochos y Fritada.jpg

Then back onto the bus for the 45-minute haul back up to Ambato. Tungurahua, who was clouded on the trip in, had shed her clouds.

TungurahuaValleHermoso.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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stunning!!!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Dinner last night was a simple affair - paprika roasted Oro Morado potatoes (an Andean heirloom type, with mild purple hearts and gold flesh), steamed beans and carrots, and a nice chunk of flank steak that had been marinading for about a week. In brandy mushroom sauce. Yay Dad - he's the saucier in the family.

Monday-Dinner.jpg

And for dessert, the molasses balls we brought home from Marcelo's.

Monday-Dessert.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Great! Now that we've caught up with yesterday, let's see a bit of today....

Breakfast was a 5-fruit salad with fresh yogurt and Mom's handmade granola (good granola is quite hard to find here). The five fruits, for the curious, are white pineapple, red papaya, Julie mango, strawberries, and Orito banana.

Tuesday-Breakfast.jpg

Tuesday-Breakfast2.jpg

After breakfast we walked down to the MegaMaxi, our local western-style supermarket. It's one of those magical clear days that the city sometimes gets, and we were able to see both Chimborazo and more distant Cotopaxi.

Tuesday-Chimborazo.jpg

Tuesday-Cotopaxi.jpg

MegaMaxi were party poopers, though - they didn't want me to take pictures in the store. So all I can show you is the haul, which came to $88 and some odd cents.

Tuesday-Shopping.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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What was the julie mango like? I've only tried a couple of this variety once when some really good ones came into our local shop (an Indian shop in the UK). Shopkeeper said they (the ones I tried) were from Jamaica. They were delicious but I don't know if they are always good.

Also...white pineapple..tell me more? On a vaguely related note you may chuckle at the fact that my Dad has successfully grown pineapple in the UK and we've had delicious fruits from the plants! He literally just took the tops off shop bought pineapples and planted them! Ok, there was probably some technical gardening-type stuff involved (I do not have green fingers at all so know nothing about it all) but that was basically it.


Edited by Jenni (log)

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My nose is pressed against the screen, looking at everything. The mountains are wonderful.

A local supermarket has long sugar canes for sale. We don't have a press naturally. What could we possibly do with a 3' length of sugar cane?


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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What could we possibly do with a 3' length of sugar cane?

Break it up and chew on it. I have memories of a long car journey in Trinidad when I was 10...hot and stuffy day, horribly long journey, plus we kids were sat in the back feeling restless. Luckily a roadside vendor of sugarcane was available and our mouths were soon too busy chewing away to complain anymore! Apparantly sugarcane chewing is supposed to be good for your teeth? Or is that just something people say?

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Marcelo's wife makes the other sweets that are available at the stand - among them peanut and molasses brickle balls, sesame molasses balls, sticky coconut-ginger-molasses balls, guava pate de fruit, boiled milk sweets, and turrón (a honey, egg-white, and walnut confection). They also import heavy Mora syrup from the northern city of Ibarra (which is famous for it.)

I was surprised to see "molasses brickle" -- hadn't heard the word "brickle" in a hundred years, since when we had butter brickle ice cream when I was a kid. Looked it up and apparently it was a trademark related to the the toffee Heath bar in the U.S. and the ice cream made with it. Do the Ecuadorians use "brickle"?

What is the Mora syrup? A heavy cane syrup? What's it used for.

I am just loving this look at a, to me, totally exotic place and wonderful food.

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What was the julie mango like? I've only tried a couple of this variety once when some really good ones came into our local shop (an Indian shop in the UK). Shopkeeper said they (the ones I tried) were from Jamaica. They were delicious but I don't know if they are always good.Also...white pineapple..tell me more? On a vaguely related note you may chuckle at the fact that my Dad has successfully grown pineapple in the UK and we've had delicious fruits from the plants! He literally just took the tops off shop bought pineapples and planted them! Ok, there was probably some technical gardening-type stuff involved (I do not have green fingers at all so know nothing about it all) but that was basically it.

Julies have strong orange flesh with very little fibre (just enough to hold their shape when cut), and the flavour is intense and slightly floral with a strong mango undertone and pleasant final hints of pine. They are among my favourite mangoes.

White pineapples, which are seedy (hummingbirds are the natural pollinator, and we've got tons of them), are less acidic and slightly sweeter than 'Hawaiian' pineapples (gold fleshed types). The core is less woody, and the whole fruit is juicier. If you asked an Ecuadorian, they'd tell you that white pineapples are for juicing and gold ones are for eating. Personally, I think it's the other way on.

My nose is pressed against the screen, looking at everything. The mountains are wonderful. A local supermarket has long sugar canes for sale. We don't have a press naturally. What could we possibly do with a 3' length of sugar cane?

Cut it up and chew on it, or cut it into 1 foot pieces, hollow out some indentations, and bake coconut-curry shrimp on it. The other thing you can do is to cut the woody part off of the outside and boil the remaining portions in a bit of water to get neat cane syrup. This can then be reduced to form a sort of bastard form of panela, or used as a simple syrup.

Apparantly sugarcane chewing is supposed to be good for your teeth? Or is that just something people say?

Yup - cane fibre is one of nature's toothbrushes!

I was surprised to see "molasses brickle" -- hadn't heard the word "brickle" in a hundred years, since when we had butter brickle ice cream when I was a kid. Looked it up and apparently it was a trademark related to the the toffee Heath bar in the U.S. and the ice cream made with it. Do the Ecuadorians use "brickle"? What is the Mora syrup? A heavy cane syrup? What's it used for.I am just loving this look at a, to me, totally exotic place and wonderful food.

It's the word I use to translate it. Those things are called Dulce de Mani (peanut sweets) locally. Mora are Andean blackberries; Mora syrup is a heavy panela and juice syrup distilled from them. It's used on ice cream, usually.


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Lunchtime! Today's gustations were provided by a comedor, Los Tres Juanes, which is just down the street from my house. Tres Juanes is a fairly typical example of this type of restaurant, which serves a fixed menu for a fixed price. Normally there are two main dishes to choose from, and on this occasion there were also two types of soup. Three courses are included in comedor meals - soup, main, and dessert - along with a glass of fresh fruit juice. Comedores are popular, reasonably priced (three courses in Ambato is between $1.75 and $2.00), and almost always excellent, and they're also guaranteed to be packed on any given lunch hour - much more so than more "refined" establishments.

This photo doesn't show it (because it happened to be a rare lull when I took it) but normally one is lucky to get a table at this restaurant - the food is excellent and inexpensive, and it's located right across from the Technical University campus. This tends to ensure that it's always packed, and at peak hours it's not uncommon for there to be a lineup for tables.

Tues-Lunch.jpg

Today's choices of soup were Aguado de Pollo (chicken and cracked rice; a thin, light soup) or Locro de Queso (thick, rich potato and cheese soup with avocado). Both Mom and I opted for the Locro, which is one of our favourites.

Tues-Lunch-Soup.jpg

The Plato Fuerte options were Medallones de Lomo (Medallions of Steak) or Pollo al Horno (Roast Chicken) - we both opted for the chicken since last night's dinner was so beefy. What really shines at Tres Juanes is the seasoning - the chicken was baked in some sort of lovely subtle adobo (pre-dressing) that included leek, shallot, and cilantro.

Tues-Lunch-Main.jpg

Aji is the main condiment on the table at comedores, rather than salt (food here is normally perfectly salted when it leaves the kitchen). It varies in heat (an aji itself is a hot pepper similar to a chili) according to the chef and the type of food being served. At Tres Juanes today, it's milder and based on red Tomate de Arbol.

Tues-Lunch-Aji.jpg

The fresh juice today was Babaco (very hard to explain, but bear with me - it's an ingredient in today's project and I'll be posting photos later), which is a relative of papaya. This is a very refreshing juice, with a slightly sparkling flavour.

Tues-Lunch-Drink.jpg

And for postre (dessert), well, there's always room for jello! We figured the flavour was Rascherry. Comedor desserts are generally small, simple portions of something sweet, to clear the palate and settle the stomach after the heavier flavours of the Plato Fuerte.

Tues-Lunch-Dessert.jpg


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

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Wow you're so lucky to have access to such amazing produce...this time of the year it's strictly squash and apples here...lol...

I would love to get my hands on some of that sugar cane. I remember chewing on swizzle sticks made of sugar cane when I was a kid, but I haven't seen any that wasn't moldy around here.


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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    • By sartoric
      We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food.
       
      A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions.
       
       

       
      A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.

       
    • By Christy Martino
      Ciao!
       
      I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days.
       
      And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great.
       
      Grazie mille!
    • By Chef Margie
      Hello Everyone!
       
      Happy to join eGullet in hopes to share my passion for culinary and kitchen with others. I have an Instagram account, but I don't think that is enough as I want to learn more, expand, and share my love for food with individuals who share the same passion.
       
      Here is a brief bio about myself: Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by my Filipino parents. Having no brothers and sisters, I am very independent and surprisingly social with others but also love spending time on my own and with my boyfriend Louis, who is my kitchen partner in crime (this is how we actually met, working BOH at a local Vietnamese restaurant in LA). Having attended college majoring in accounting as an undergrad and grad, I orignally wanted to become a licensed accountant for finance and real estate, but it was not fulfilling and the content honestly bored me to death! I also desired to leave the corporate business world and join the professional kitchen. So I took the leap, graduated culinary school, quit my desk job, and worked in the professional kitchen. Then my health and finances took over, and I had surgery and I needed more money to survive in a city of ridiculous rent prices. I had to leave the kitchen and go back into accounting. Fast forward to 2017, I am currently unemployed having been laid off two days before Christmas the prior year! Using this as a sign and as an opportunity for self growth and realization, I am once again on the culinary path. Not necessarily to work on the line, but to learn more, cook and bake more at home, and expose myself out there to all things food and kitchen. Not also forgetting to mention I am always surrounded by food: Louis is also still in the professional kitchen, and we WILL have that restaurant one day (dreams DO come true, I just know it!).
       
      Anyhow, I am super excited to be posting here and exchanging ideas! See you out there! 
       
      Margie
    • By ElsieD
      We are at the airport waiting to board our flight.  As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province,  I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
       
      Before Newfoundland  became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony.  Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada.  Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although  the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English.  French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else.   Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France.  There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
       
      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
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