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Panaderia Canadiense

eG Foodblog: Panaderia Canadiense - Salt Cod, Squash, and Sweets: Semana Santa in the Sierra

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2 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

Thank you for answering.  Do you use an equal substitution?  By that I mean, if I make something that calls for 1/4 cup cocoa powder, would I use the full 1/4 black cocoa in it's place?

 

It's equal substitution - but watch your leavening.  If you cake calls only for baking powder, you may need to add a pinch of soda to neutralize the cocoa and get it to rise the way you're used to. 1/4 tsp in most recipes is sufficient.

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

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

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To start with, Mom and I decided on Brisa y Mar (the same restaurant I showed you in the Mercado Central food court, but their actual sit-down location.)  She's not a big fan of Fanesca, but she does like Ecuador's take on seafood, so this seemed to be a solution that would make us both happy.  For those of you thinking of a visit to Ambato, Brisa y Mar is in a converted house on the corner of Los Shyris and El Inca.

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As in most Marisquerías (seafood houses), you get a bowl of mixed canguil and chulpi with the menu when you sit down.

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Mom decided, after much deliberation, on an Arroz Lleno de Mariscos (rice filled with seafood) which includes a bit of everything.  In this case, it had small freshwater mussels and saltwater clams, squid, octopus, scallops, shrimp, and chunks of corvina (sea bass).  The sauce is a mildly spiced mayonnaise.

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A bowl of limes and a lime-press arrives at the same time as your main course - this is so that you can control how much citrus you want on your dish (if any).

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My Fanesca came looking picture-perfect.  I'll talk in a bit about how this is prepared, but for the moment you should know that what's floating in it are the traditional accompaniments: a fried plátano maduro, a hard-boiled egg, and a chunk of sweet Queso Manabita (a style of fresh cheese made with Brahma milk, common to the province of Manabí).  I had been hoping for a bacalao fritter, but that's something that is at the election of the chef….

Fanesca.jpg.ee149d7d83ec3d454400476917c0

 

….Because some chefs prefer instead to add chunks of the bacalao directly to the soup.  This is the case at Brisa y Mar.

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About halfway through the meal, we realized we also wanted patacones (fried smashed green plantains).  They're a sort of crispy-soft accompaniment to the heartiness of the soup, and they're also thoroughly yummy dipped in the mayo.

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At this point I'd been stealing mussels off of Mom's plate for a while.  She retaliated by dipping her patacones in my soup.

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Brisa y Mar also offers Tiffin Service - the most common type of take-out in Ecuador.  You bring in your lunchbox (or send it with a runner), and they fill it up for you.  Most tiffins are stainless steel in two or three layers, with or without a thermal bucket (like the one shown here).  This is to make it easy to reheat your lunch at the office - most lunchrooms have a small induction plate you can put your bowl on to quickly heat up your soup and main course.

TiffinService.jpg.4e55d2947ea5f124dca23d

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

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

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7 hours ago, Panaderia Canadiense said:

 

Everything!  The difference between black cocoa and Dutched cocoa is that one is naturally acidic and fat-soluble, and the other alkalinized and water-soluble.  Black cocoa is a bit richer-tasting in final goods, more like eating cocoa nibs, and imparts a far more intense colour to the final product.  The black-black colour of my mocha leaf cookies, chocolate cakes, and black bread, comes from black cocoa.  The only thing it won't do is make a Devil's Food Cake come out that rich red-brown - for that, which relies on a reaction with the alkaline, you have to use Dutched.

 

This, and your answer to ElsieD's followup question, are the most succinct descriptions of the difference that I remember reading, even in the topic devoted to this distinction.  Thank you.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Next up: PanCan remembers that she lives in a very observant, deeply Catholic country and she's blogging during Holy Week.  I went to the Mercado Central in search of some ground lamb, thinking that it would make a nice stuffing for the Holupche I'm making for dinner.

 

But first, a quick stop at the Ambamiel kiosk - this is the outlet for the county's cooperatives of beekeepers.  They sell all things bee-related, up to and including hives (obviously not on-site, but they'll hook you up with local apiculturists if you want to buy or rent bees.)  I wanted some bitter honey, a product gathered by keepers of the large native ground-bees, which is a great remedy for sore throats.

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The Mercado Central is the city's oldest market, in the heart of downtown.  It's recently had a facelift and internal renovations.  Walking up to it, you get a real sense of what Ambato is like - even the sidewalks are crammed with sellers, and you can see that while the market may have been improved and remodelled, the surrounding buildings haven't - they're the few Art-Deco survivors of the 1949 quake that levelled the city.  Ambato is a study in this kind of contrast, the past being kept standing by the present.

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Inside, my disappointment is palpable.  Meat is completely prohibited to the faithful during Holy Week; all but one of the butchers has been on vacation since Monday!  The  sole remaining seller has only a few small cuts of goat, which are not what I'm looking for at all.  You can see that El Ovino, which specializes in young goats and sheep of all ages, is literally the only one with the lights still on - everyone else is long since packed up and gone.

Butcher.jpg.048c8e11b7bcf10d853817c3872e

 

Sigh.  Maybe the butchers in the Mercado Modelo will still be there?  It's just a couple of blocks away, so why not?

 

In order to get a good shot of this market, I had to cross the street.  This meant I ran up against the temptation of Subal, one of the city's most popular bakeries.

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Oh no, look at that pastry case.  They have donuts!  Now I want a donut.  (I'm definitely with Oscar Wilde on this: one should always yield to temptation.)

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These are old-fashioned style chocolate glazed donuts.  They're also about the only donuts in the city.

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LIght diversion accomplished, it's time to take a look inside the Modelo and see if the butchers here have packed it in for the week as well.

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Yes, yes they have.  The only ones left in the meats section are a pair of hardy fishmongers doing brisk trade in fresh and salted fish.

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The Modelo has juice bars on the main floor!

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Laughing at myself, I head homewards.  But hey!  It wasn't a total loss - one of the fifty-cent stores had a spring whisk, something I've been looking for for quite some time…. And at least there were donuts!

SpringWhisk.jpg.827740a09f040dd04b87204e

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

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

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Before I make it home, though, there's one more stop: the Fruteria at the top of the hill.  This is a shop that's larger than a Tienda but smaller than a Supermarket, and that has a full greengrocer's as well as dry goods and dairy.

 

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In typical Ecuadorian fashion, it's a bit of a jumble - if you can't find what you're looking for, you joke with the proprietor about it, and they'll point it out.  Case in point: quail eggs are housed with gummies and gelatine shots.

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Along with the lettuce and some other sundries, I got a Sunny Peach Nectar and a gelatine shot.  Both are very refreshing.

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While I drank that, I took in the beautiful view from the park in front of the fruteria.

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And on my way home, I passed by one of my neighbours, a basket-weaver, to see how her ducklings were coming along - they're getting so big!

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Of course, if you can't find what you want in the mercado or at the fruteria, you can always wait for the fruit truck to come along….

FruitTruck.jpg.c9fb04d0fda932d8cf51cd241

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

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

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My heart is now in the highlands (of Ecuador). I have run out of superlatives with which to vary the compliments I owe our esteemed Ecua-exCan 'baker'/travel guide/photographer/chronicler extraordinaire. Again, thanks for what I think has been the most fascinating and comprehensive eGullet foodblog (and there have been many amazing ones) I have ever read. 

 

Sorry you didn't find your lamb. I didn't realize that the whole of holy week was meatless in the Catholic faith - and I was married to a catholic (who obviously wasn't a good practitioner). Do you have a freezer, Panaderia? If so, I guess it will be full before Easter week next year.

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 I am fascinated by the idea of Tiffin service in Ecuador.  Proves I know nothing about nothing which my kids heve been telling me for years. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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There's a Maggi banner in the fruteria photo! Is Maggi Sauce a popular condiment in Ecuadorian cuisine?  How is it used?

 

I have a love affair with Maggi Sauce on soft boiled eggs and fried eggs - they just don't taste quite right to me without it. I am always amazed by how ubiquitous Maggi is, though it doesn't seem as well-loved in North American cuisine. :x

 

Terrific foodblog, by the way.  Followed along in your previous foodblogs, and this one is proving just as enjoyable - thank you for bringing us along for the ride!

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1 hour ago, Panaderia Canadiense said:

Next up: PanCan remembers that she lives in a very observant, deeply Catholic country and she's blogging during Holy Week.

 

So, when would a very observant, deeply Catholic Ecuadoran be ready to purchase meat for an Easter Sunday celebration?  Sounds like Thursday is rather too early :D

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57 minutes ago, Deryn said:

Sorry you didn't find your lamb. I didn't realize that the whole of holy week was meatless in the Catholic faith - and I was married to a catholic (who obviously wasn't a good practitioner). Do you have a freezer, Panaderia? If so, I guess it will be full before Easter week next year.

 

I didn't either; it might be a Latin American thing - in previous years, I've already had the rabbit or lamb in the fridge for Easter dinner; this is the first time I've ever tried to visit a butcher during Holy Week!  I have the freezers that are part of my fridges (and those have turkey and chicken and fish and beef in them), but I don't have a standalone - it's on the wish list.  Knowing now that meat takes a vacation, I won't be caught short again.

 

49 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 I am fascinated by the idea of Tiffin service in Ecuador.  Proves I know nothing about nothing which my kids heve been telling me for years. 

 

When I found out about it, my first thought was "why, oh why, don't other countries do this!?!?!?"  It's so convenient, really ecologically sound, and if you provide your own tiffins there's no extra charge at the restaurant for doing it.  The only other place I know of that does tiffin service like this is India, and even there it's quite different, with the restaurants providing the tiffins.  I own a 4-tier stack, because I like my salad to come separate from the meat/rice/gravy part of the meal.

 

49 minutes ago, Beebs said:

There's a Maggi banner in the fruteria photo! Is Maggi Sauce a popular condiment in Ecuadorian cuisine?  How is it used?

 

I have a love affair with Maggi Sauce on soft boiled eggs and fried eggs - they just don't taste quite right to me without it. I am always amazed by how ubiquitous Maggi is, though it doesn't seem as well-loved in North American cuisine. :x

 

Terrific foodblog, by the way.  Followed along in your previous foodblogs, and this one is proving just as enjoyable - thank you for bringing us along for the ride!

 

There is so much Maggi-love in Ecuador!  Maggi is one of the most common and popular spices here, but it's not just the bottles of strong dark sauce - it's also a brand of bouillon powder, a seasoning paste, and instant soups.  Use depends on presentation: the sauce is used with fried foods (usually during preparation), the bouillon to quick-start soups and as a component of breading for fried things, the paste as an adobo for meats that would be tough if they weren't pre-seasoned, and the instant soups as a fast convenience.  Oddly enough, a bottle of Maggi bought in Ecuador will have a slightly different flavour from one in Peru or Colombia - the recipe seems to change slightly depending on country.  I have never seen the seasoning paste anywhere but in Ecuador.

 

The one thing that all Maggi products in Latin America share is the presence of Lovage in the mix, which is actually called "Hierba Maggi" in Ecuador - it's usually there in place of MSG.  Non-Maggi branded products even use this name for the herb when it's present - I've got a finishing salt that's about half herbs, that lists Hierba Maggi as an ingredient.

 

3 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

So, when would a very observant, deeply Catholic Ecuadoran be ready to purchase meat for an Easter Sunday celebration?  Sounds like Thursday is rather too early :D

 

I would assume after they've formally broken Lent, which would be after the high mass commemorating the last supper on Holy Saturday?  In practice, Easter Sunday dinner is Fanesca and grilled sausages, so I'd assume that at least the charcuterers are open on Saturday afternoon.  Either that, or the faithful have go to the MegaMaxi and buy something in a blister pack from their meat coolers.  MegaMaxi doesn't recognize Lent at all, although it does put out the Fanesca grains and boxed bacalao when Holy Week approaches.

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

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Alright!  Holupche are in the oven, I've got a few minutes.  Let's talk Fanesca!  This is a dish unique to Ecuador and unique again for only being prepared during Holy Week.  It's a traditional hearty soup that has been around since before Christianity came to the green shores of South America - it used to be linked to the festival celebrating the first flowers of the season, Pawkar Raymi, in the Incan calendar.  This was supplanted by Catholic mythology of Easter, which coincides on the calendar, but the soup is so tasty that it was preserved (I like to think that nobody wanted to give it up!)

 

There are 13 ingredients that are absolutely essential to Fanesca, all of which come into season around now; they traditionally correspond to either the 13 lunar months in a year, or to the 12 apostles (rice, peanuts, leeks, pumpkin, zambo, chochos, peas, cabbage, habas, white corn, white and red beans) and Jesus (bacalao).   It's a milk and cream-based soup.  In the mercados, sellers have made preparation much easier - the grains are shelled, and the squashes can be bought already cut up into convenient chunks.  The bright red tubers next to the bag of pre-chopped zambo are mellocos, which make their way into the Ambateño variants on the recipe.

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There's a big difference between the flesh of a zambo and that of a squash.

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Preparation is usually a family or community event that spans two days of effort, because there are a number of legumes and grains that require special handling so as not to make the soup bitter - particularly, the habas (a type of broad-bean), chochos (lupines), and peas, whose outer casings are all removed by hand before the pulses are added back to the final soup.  Recipes are normally for huge amounts of Fanesca, and that's because the whole community has chipped in on the ingredients and come together for the preparation.  Community-made Fanesca comes out of huge cast iron cauldrons that bubble over wood fires.  Sadly, this part of the tradition is diminishing, and it's only possible to sample soup made this way in the more remote Quichua communities where Pawkar Raymi is still celebrated - it used to happen in the cities as well.

 

There are three traditional accompaniments, which are floated on top of the Fanesca when it's served: a slice of soft, sweet white cheese, a hard-boiled egg, and a fried ripe plantain.  A further dozen or so ornaments may be added at the chef's discretion; these include bacalao fritters, patacones, small empanadas stuffed with bacalao and potato, caramelized onions, celery or lovage leaves, chopped green onion, cilantro, and ripe red ají or luqutu peppers.

 

A version of my abuelita Fidelina's recipe can be found in the Salt Cod Diary, if you want to cook along.  I've substituted Acorn squash for Zambo in this version, which will make life easier for cooks in parts of the world where Zambo is not available.  If you want your Fanesca less thick, substitute either Zucchini or Spaghetti squash for the Acorn squash.  If you don't like rice in your soups, you can substitute green or brown lentils - this is done at the chef's discretion.  And if you want to be an Ambateña, you can substitute the smallest Melloco you can find for the cabbage.  This recipe has been cut down from one that serves 200 - an entire barrio, which is how Fidelina, who is now 96 years old, learned to cook it.

 

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

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Panaderia, when I was reviewing the last couple of lines of the recipe you posted on LindaK's Salt Cod Diary thread, I noticed you say that you should just stand there and stir - and then that, after about 3 and a half hours, the fanesca is ready. Do you really stand there and stir for that entire 3.5 hours?

 

If so, I am going to have to work out a mini-facsimile version of this recipe that can be made in the Thermomix I think. Or perhaps there is a version we could come up with that might work in the IP - since risotto can be made in a pressure cooker without stirring but on the stove should be stirred. I know that would be cheating but since I can't get all the authentic ingredients here anyway, whatever I do to approximate the real thing is probably going to fall short but one hopes the results would still be a tribute to the idea of Fanesca and enjoyable anyway.

 

I realize that something this special, prepared during Holy Week, probably does require a sacrifice and is a labour of true love, but I am not sure my arms would hold out for 3 and a half hours any more.


Edited by Deryn (log)
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7 hours ago, Beebs said:

There's a Maggi banner in the fruteria photo! Is Maggi Sauce a popular condiment in Ecuadorian cuisine?  How is it used?

 

I have a love affair with Maggi Sauce on soft boiled eggs and fried eggs - they just don't taste quite right to me without it. I am always amazed by how ubiquitous Maggi is, though it doesn't seem as well-loved in North American cuisine. :x

 

Terrific foodblog, by the way.  Followed along in your previous foodblogs, and this one is proving just as enjoyable - thank you for bringing us along for the ride!

 

I spotted that, too and was surprised. It is popular here in China, too.

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11 hours ago, Deryn said:

My heart is now in the highlands (of Ecuador). I have run out of superlatives with which to vary the compliments I owe our esteemed Ecua-exCan 'baker'/travel guide/photographer/chronicler extraordinaire. Again, thanks for what I think has been the most fascinating and comprehensive eGullet foodblog (and there have been many amazing ones) I have ever read. 

 

I agree with @Deryn! I've run out of words, I'm speechless.  I'm literally crying tears though, thinking about the dismal and overpriced cellophane-wrapped-on-styrofoam-tray vegetables (dented yellow summer squash and limp asparagus)  that my spouse bought for dinner last night at our local Publix supermarket. And the very depressing and expensive lunch from the hospital cafeteria that I ate in desperation yesterday (I'd forgotten my bento lunch bag in the fridge, which often happens when I leave at 0430)

Had I been in Ecuador, I could at least have had tiffin service!  Oh dear Ecuador, I hope you have room for one more, because I'm coming to visit you ASAP 

PS love the biodegradable on-the-go lunch bags.  The hospital uses disposable (non-degradable,  non-recyclable) white styrofoam trays and plastic sporks. No knives allowed. And you can't bring your own -  as of 2 months ago, all bags (even for doctors and nurses) are searched by security upon entry to the building. They're mainly looking for weapons and drugs but they will confiscate metal utensils. O.o  

PS I'm going to make a bastardized version of Fanesca later today in my instant pot, one of the major omissions will be salt cod because it's not sold around here.  And yes, I'll have to substitute acorn squash. :(  Also +1 for Maggi seasonings, I'm a big fan and looking forward to trying the Ecuador versions! 


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9 hours ago, Deryn said:

Panaderia, when I was reviewing the last couple of lines of the recipe you posted on LindaK's Salt Cod Diary thread, I noticed you say that you should just stand there and stir - and then that, after about 3 and a half hours, the fanesca is ready. Do you really stand there and stir for that entire 3.5 hours?

 

If so, I am going to have to work out a mini-facsimile version of this recipe that can be made in the Thermomix I think. Or perhaps there is a version we could come up with that might work in the IP - since risotto can be made in a pressure cooker without stirring but on the stove should be stirred. I know that would be cheating but since I can't get all the authentic ingredients here anyway, whatever I do to approximate the real thing is probably going to fall short but one hopes the results would still be a tribute to the idea of Fanesca and enjoyable anyway.

 

I realize that something this special, prepared during Holy Week, probably does require a sacrifice and is a labour of true love, but I am not sure my arms would hold out for 3 and a half hours any more.

 

Thanks for all the great photos.  I've been looking forward to a sighting of the legendary fanesca--it did not disappoint (but your mom's seafood rice looked fabulous too).  It seems such a curious mix of ingredients, same with the plantain, egg, and cheese topping too--is there a traditional of bringing these ingredients together in other Ecuadorian dishes?

 

Like Deryn, I'm interested in the instructions, especially re: the point you make in the recipe about not scraping down the sides and bottom of the pot during the long cooking. If that's the case, I wonder whether that means fanesca can't be made in a pressure cooker or Thermomix.  Do you have any experience/knowledge of using either to make fanesca?

 

 

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10 hours ago, Deryn said:

Panaderia, when I was reviewing the last couple of lines of the recipe you posted on LindaK's Salt Cod Diary thread, I noticed you say that you should just stand there and stir - and then that, after about 3 and a half hours, the fanesca is ready. Do you really stand there and stir for that entire 3.5 hours?

 

If so, I am going to have to work out a mini-facsimile version of this recipe that can be made in the Thermomix I think. Or perhaps there is a version we could come up with that might work in the IP - since risotto can be made in a pressure cooker without stirring but on the stove should be stirred. I know that would be cheating but since I can't get all the authentic ingredients here anyway, whatever I do to approximate the real thing is probably going to fall short but one hopes the results would still be a tribute to the idea of Fanesca and enjoyable anyway.

 

I realize that something this special, prepared during Holy Week, probably does require a sacrifice and is a labour of true love, but I am not sure my arms would hold out for 3 and a half hours any more.

 

I figured I'd consult an expert: I called Fidelina.  If you're making Fanesca on the stove, you apparently need to stir it frequently to make sure the corn isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot, but not constantly - like any cream soup with inclusions.  If you're making it over wood fire, you have to keep it moving.  You might be able to do this in the Thermomix if you're willing to sacrifice the texture of the grains, which are normally left whole - but for making the squash and peanut cream base it would probably be a godsend.  I have no idea about doing the final cooking in a pressure cooker, but I suspect it would work if your cooker is large enough to accommodate the volume of soup involved.

 

Incidentally, I've had versions of this soup that aren't cream-based, that omit the peanuts, that substitute quinua for one of the grains, that omit the zambo, and that omit the bacalao entirely - and they're all called Fanesca.  I think the intention is the most important thing.  The recipe I've presented is an older, more traditional one with all the trimmings.

 

51 minutes ago, LindaK said:

 

Thanks for all the great photos.  I've been looking forward to a sighting of the legendary fanesca--it did not disappoint (but your mom's seafood rice looked fabulous too).  It seems such a curious mix of ingredients, same with the plantain, egg, and cheese topping too--is there a traditional of bringing these ingredients together in other Ecuadorian dishes?

 

Like Deryn, I'm interested in the instructions, especially re: the point you make in the recipe about not scraping down the sides and bottom of the pot during the long cooking. If that's the case, I wonder whether that means fanesca can't be made in a pressure cooker or Thermomix.  Do you have any experience/knowledge of using either to make fanesca?

 

 

 

I've been reviewing Fidelina's recipe because I was wondering the same thing - and when I called her, she reminded me that the instructions to not scrape down the pot are for making the soup in a giant cast-iron cauldron over a wood fire.  She says on the stove you absolutely can and should scrape it, because it's going to behave quite differently.  Fidelina also says the grains can be pressure-cooked before you take off their skins (and this is absolutely what I do - it saves hours of prep time), but mentions nothing about doing the final thing in the pressure cooker - she's always made too much volume to try this.  And she says hello and happy Easter to all you people out around the world daring enough to want to make this dish!  The fact that the tradition is being kept alive around the world thrills her to no end.

 

I've only ever made Fanesca myself in big pots, often as part of a family celebration - my first time ever, because I proved so good at it, I was on chocho-shelling duty and then duly took a turn as a pot-stirrer.

 

On the question of combining ingredients: Plantain-egg-and-cheese?  That's a really common combo here - it's all that's necessary for a delicious breakfast!  Slices of fried maduro with cheese on top and scrambled or hard-boiled eggs is called a Desayuno Guayaco (Guayaquil Breakfast).  Peanuts-cream-squash is also the basis for a number of well-known dishes, including Encocado (peanut-coconut-curry) and Locro de Zapallo (a thick squash soup.)  The concept of combining grains is present in the Volquetero (corn, fresh lupines, and plantain with red onion and tomato salad and tuna fish) and in most snacking mixes.  HOWEVER, there are few non-ceremonial recipes that are so complex as Fanesca - Ecuadorian cooking in general is about highlighting the quality of one or two ingredients and allowing them to shine, and most recipes are far less involved.  Fanesca, on paper, looks like it ought to be a sort of dog's breakfast of flavours and textures, but it somehow all comes together beautifully.

 

The concept of a massive concatenation of ingredients shows up again around Día de los Difuntos with the traditional Colada Morada.  Apart from that, I can't immediately call to mind any other recipes that almost require communal participation.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)
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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

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

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Last night's dinner was a family Easter tradition - holupche (cabbage rolls.)  We had a nice little head of cabbage from the Mayorista on Sunday.

 

Cabbage.jpg.56d31f0f71d06ae79169173ee59d

 

But not so little, as it turns out, that it would fit in our small steamer.  This meant hauling out the tamalero, a massive steaming pot, instead.  We have no middle ground of steamers.

Tamalero.thumb.jpg.0a39ad90dff3a066fb591

 

Because we had ground chicken leftovers, we decided to do two different fillings - chicken and peas, and the more traditional beef and beet.

Holupche-stuff.jpg.94e40d9e4d7c3064cd5bf

 

Ready for the oven.

Holupche-GoingIn.jpg.2bc3f4d8f0ab6bcb778

 

The finished result (yum!).  We grossly overestimated the number of leaves we had, so there was panfried holupche stuffing on the side.

Holupche-cut.jpg.dee3ade0d7c41d2fa876a5a

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

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

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I am thoroughly enjoying this blog!  Waaay back in this post you shared your cups of warm jello with us in this picture:

Jello.jpg.613ec2fb736d7a732514d9a37ce32f

 

I don't think I'd heard of warm jello to drink before now, but it's sounding pretty darned good at the moment.  Are you mixing this from packages of gelatin with your own flavorings, or are you buying a commercial mix - maybe even JelloTM itself? 

 

Edit: sorry, now I see you answered the question on the next page.  Never mind... (ducks head in shame)


Edited by Smithy (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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PanCan, looking carefully at the long list of ingredients in fanesca, I see that the legumes include lupini beans.  The directions simply say "peeled."

 

The lupini beans I know are popular in Italian cuisine, but they require some pretty careful preparation to rid them of toxins and bitterness--up to a week of post-cooking soaking!  I did a quick search here and found this from @andiesenji. Worth clicking and reading the whole thing.

Your recipe doesn;t mention anything about this--I wonder if this explains the long cooking of fanesca and the gunk that builds up on the sides of the pot.

 

Any advice?  I know I can find lupini beans, but don't want to ruin the dish or poison myself.  xD


Edited by LindaK (log)
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20 minutes ago, LindaK said:

PanCan, looking carefully at the long list of ingredients in fanesca, I see that the legumes include lupini beans.  The directions simply say "peeled."

 

The lupini beans I know are popular in Italian cuisine, but they require some pretty careful preparation to rid them of toxins and bitterness--up to a week of post-cooking soaking!  I did a quick search here and found this from @andiesenji. Worth clicking and reading the whole thing.

Your recipe doesn;t mention anything about this--I wonder if this explains the long cooking of fanesca and the gunk that builds up on the sides of the pot.

 

Any advice?  I know I can find lupini beans, but don't want to ruin the dish or poison myself.  xD

 

Latin American chochos (Lupinus mutabilis) are a slightly different creature from Lupini beans (L. albus) - I was reaching for a homologue for cooks outside of LatAm.  Here, I can buy them already boiled and salted, which eliminates the need for me to worry about the toxic bitter alkaloid (chochos are classed as "sweet" lupines and contain far, far less of this alkaloid than Lupinis.)  If I buy dried ones, a 15-minute spell in highly salted water in the pressure cooker followed by a thorough rinse in cold water, both rehydrates and de-bitters them, rendering them safe to eat in short order.

 

Since the most commonly available form of chochos in Ecuador is fresh, boiled, and ready to eat, my recipe notation probably just says "peel them" because the skins add a mild bitterness to the broth that's undesirable.  They're definitely a convenience snack here.

 

If you're working with dried Lupinis, you'll need to do the pressure-cooking thing and also post-treatment soaking, or buy ready-to-use canned ones.  Most "Latin American" specialty groceries in the US should actually carry chochos / tarwi as well - at which point, follow the recipe and just take off the outer membranes.  Either that, or make a side-trip into the Trenton, NJ area and look for an Ecuadorian specialty shop (there are many in NJ, which has a large Ecuadorian expat community) - you should be able to buy bags of authentic ready-to-eat chochos from them.

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

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

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I hope I'm not asking another question that's already been answered.  Your posts show a great variety of fresh produce and readily available fresh meats (except during High Holy Week :smile:).  I don't see as much mention of seasonings, although Maggi (in multiple forms) and cinnamon have been mentioned.  Is there a  combination of seasonings that is characteristic of Ecuadorean food, or does the cuisine rely mostly on the flavors of the ingredients themselves?

 

I'm also curious - if you have time to pursue it - about whether most farmers there are independent, work in a cooperative group, or are farming for some much larger corporation such as those that send so much produce up our way.  Is Fair Trade a food pricing issue there?

 

Jumping to yet another point - were you just lucky to find a house with that lovely kitchen and counter, or did you have that built? I do love the look of that quartz counter!

 

Thanks for a fascinating and vicariously exhausting look at your world.  It would be impressive under any circumstances, but it's trebly so during this week. 


Edited by Smithy Corrected the spelling of Ecuador. Even though the original error is reproduced below, I'm too embarrassed to let it stand. D'oh! (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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49 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I hope I'm not asking another question that's already been answered.  Your posts show a great variety of fresh produce and readily available fresh meats (except during High Holy Week :smile:).  I don't see as much mention of seasonings, although Maggi (in multiple forms) and cinnamon have been mentioned.  Is there a  combination of seasonings that is characteristic of Equadorean food, or does the cuisine rely mostly on the flavors of the ingredients themselves?

 

I'm also curious - if you have time to pursue it - about whether most farmers there are independent, work in a cooperative group, or are farming for some much larger corporation such as those that send so much produce up our way.  Is Fair Trade a food pricing issue there?

 

Jumping to yet another point - were you just lucky to find a house with that lovely kitchen and counter, or did you have that built? I do love the look of that quartz counter!

 

Thanks for a fascinating and vicariously exhausting look at your world.  It would be impressive under any circumstances, but it's trebly so during this week. 

 

I haven't actually touched on seasonings all that much, but Ecuador approaches this in a fairly interesting way.  A well-stocked Ecuadorian spice cabinet will have the following in it: achiote, cumin, oregano, sazonador amarillo, sabora rojo, aliño, Maggi, curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ishpingo, salt, and pepper.  The combo of oregano-cumin-cinnamon is fairly common, and nutmeg is treated as though it's a spice for the salt kitchen and not the sweet one, but in general spices are used in small amounts and recipes are more geared towards showing off the natural flavours of the ingredients.  Cilantro and lovage greens feature heavily in terms of fresh herbs, and most kitchens will also have a fresh ginger root for use in soups as well as the usual garlic, shallots, and onions.

 

What you'll notice about that list is that it doesn't contain anything other than black pepper that adds "heat" to a dish.  This is because unlike other Latin American cuisines, Ecuador's philosophy towards heat is that you add your own to the dish once it's at the table.  Consequently, there might not be salt and pepper on the table (the food will invariably come impeccably seasoned) but there is always ají, a typical hot sauce that's normally made by each chef (not purchased - having store-bought ají on the table is seen as an admission that you can't cook).  Ají sauces vary from province to province; the hottest ones come from the south, the most complex ones from the coast; Ambato ají often includes creamed chochos and tomate de árbol, which give it a distinctive tangy flavour.

 

Saz Amarillo, Sabora, and Aliño also deserve special mention, because they are absolute staples necessary to achieving the subtle spicing that's typical of Ecuadorian recipes.  These are spice blends; Sazonador is turmeric, celery, oregano, cumin, garlic, onion, salt, and bay laurel.  Sabora is cumin, oregano, garlic, black pepper, salt, achiote, cloves, and cinnamon.  Aliño is a paste made of garlic, red onion, white onion, oregano, cilantro, and celery or lovage.  My bottle of aliño is empty, or I'd show you that as well.

Seasonings.jpg.9b25bebe6146568d8c3a05fc8

 

To answer your second question: farming here is a family affair - there are very few farms over 10 ha (25 acres), the majority of them are much smaller, and the grand majority, since they're often nearly vertical, are worked entirely by hand - tractors are only a common sight in the rice paddies on the coast; I've never seen a thresher or combine or a harvester, and I live in the heart of corn country.  Most areas form cooperatives in order to get their produce to market.  In the case of dairy, the pasteurizers tend to be collectively owned by the farmers.  I have yet to see a corporate farm growing domestic produce here - even the large rice paddies are cooperative farms rather than corporate ones.  On the domestic front, pricing is often set by the government in order to prevent speculation - staples like rice, milk, corn, oats, machica (roasted barley), and potatoes have fixed prices; since the farmers themselves are normally the ones bringing their goods to market, this goes straight to them.  This explains the higher prices for staples at supermarkets, like the MegaMaxi vs. places like the Mercado Mayorista - the supermarket has to pay the set price, and then tack their profit on to that, while the Mayorista exists to connect buyers to growers directly.

 

On the other hand, export crops, like bananas, broccoli, and pineapples, are grown on large corporate-owned plantations (Dole, Chiquita, Fyffes, and a number of other smaller players have huge extensions of land here, thousands of hectares.)  In this case, about 25% of the banana plantations are fair-trade by world standards; the remainder are obliged by Ecuadorian law to pay living wages to their workers and to contribute to their social security - this is a huge step up from every other banana republic in the world.  More and more small producers of the country's luxury crops: coffee, cacao, and exotic fruits, are forming fair-trade cooperatives and these co-ops are responsible for the collective bargaining process.  Kallari, Caoni, and Pacari are Ecuador's international gold-medallist chocolate companies; all three of them are worker- and grower-owned fair-trade cooperatives with considerable bargaining clout on the world markets - taken together, they control more than 50% of the country's high-end cacao output.

 

For the third question, I was tremendously lucky to find this house, which was built by an engineer who studied in New York, was heavily influenced by North American kitchen design, and who subsequently insisted on an open-plan kitchen with these gorgeous counters.  The second stroke of luck comes in the fact that he and his family are tall people.  I'm used to houses here having tiny kitchens with countertops that are probably perfect for normal 150 cm tall Ecuadorians - you may have heard me complain before about Smurf-Kitchen Syndrome.  I'm 180 cm tall (six feet), and those standard low countertops cripple me.  I also feel horribly claustrophobic in any room where I can place my palm flat on the ceiling without trouble.  This house, over and above having such a well-designed kitchen, was built for people my size.  It's a rarity and a luxury.

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

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I'm learning so much this week! Thank you for being such an inspiring teacher.  Please tell Fidelina that there is someone in Florida who is going to try to serve her family Fanesca on Easter Sunday (salt cod soaking in the fridge now), thanks to the two of you.  Also I discovered a new source for South American foodstuffs in my quest for the soup ingredients, so thank you both for that as well. :D

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