Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Panaderia Canadiense

Ecuador During a State of Emergency - Surfing the Shortages

Recommended Posts

Hello again from south of the equator!  As you may or may not have heard (because the international news media isn't really giving the situation much coverage), Ecuador is in the grip of a major social protest movement.  This started on October 1, when fuel subsidies in the country were abruptly struck causing the prices of gasoline and diesel to more than double overnight.  Transport and heavy haulage unions immediately went on strike, and blocked the main roads of the cities with their vehicles in protest.  The indigenous movements of the central Sierra, beginning in my province, Tungurahua, joined the strike on October 2, and the President quickly declared a State of Emergency that restricts movement, freedom of the press, and freedom association.  The indigenous took over the road blockades on October 3, cutting the cities off from the world; Ambato became an island overnight.

 

It is now October 8, one week into the blockades.  Shortages in the fresh markets and supermarkets began on Sunday, as people realized that we were in for a long-haul of protest and possibly an overthrow of the sitting government.  Ecuador's indigenous have a long history of deposing governments in this way, and it's not a fast process.

 

I'll be blogging informally throughout the National Strike, to document how the inevitable food shortages affect the city and my own table. 

 

These first pictures are from Sunday, October 6.  In the Mercado Mayorista, a place I've always taken you along to when I've blogged from Ambato, the cement floors of the naves are visible in places where they have never, in my experience, been exposed.  The fresh corn nave is all but abandoned - this is because all of the corn in the city's stock has been sold.  I'll remind you: a nave in this market is about a thousand square metres of space.  This is also missing the big trucks that come to trade fresh grains in the parking lot, because they couldn't make it through the roadblocks.  Most of the Mayorista is in the same situation - stocks are selling off fast.

IMG_20191006_101646.thumb.jpg.9ef8f234fa40f6f054a8b669c4dc59be.jpg

 

The supermarkets are even more dire.  The meat coolers are completely empty, and the produce shelves are diminishing quickly.

IMG_20191006_142525.thumb.jpg.87a8612951658537c040ec8a029d4290.jpg

IMG_20191006_144016.thumb.jpg.cac2090e20d48f75dd4a91f635753270.jpg

IMG_20191006_144029.thumb.jpg.7fe2312699e48dc19c4704f55a39917a.jpg

 

  • Sad 15

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here we are on Tuesday, 8 October.  I went back to that supermarket in the hopes that some meat had maybe materialized.... It hadn't.  I've got stock in my freezer for about three weeks of meals; I've currently got a houseguest / refugee from the US staying with me - she was trapped by the strike, and I'm cooking for four.

 

IMG_20191008_144719.thumb.jpg.b546c3bd917de8c8ff4104ffe85c0e7d.jpg

What you see at the extreme bottom are the last two packets of chicken livers and gizzards, which I forwent because I'm not super fond of livers.  Staff inform me that the meat case in this market won't be restocked until after the strike ends, since their supply chain is in the next province, across six roadblocks.

 

IMG_20191008_144813.thumb.jpg.2c7f1b7379a8c9e9519b5fdc63c847a6.jpg

The fresh produce section now contains a weird mix of specialty fruits and vegetables - Peruvian ají, grapefruits, chayote, scrapie, eggplants, beans in shell, and purple sweet potatoes.  The roll shutters block off half of the stand, because it's empty and they're not anticipating that it will be restocked.

 

IMG_20191008_144810.thumb.jpg.bd5b789c8fc3c0b69b1798b804fd326d.jpg

And this one's even emptier - the plantains are gone, and there are only a few oranges left, along with firewood for your barbecue (and not much of that.). You can also see that sodas are starting to diminish as compared to Sunday.

  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 14

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No - news hound that I am - nope! I just mentioed you in a food place as an  inspration! (Dia de Los Muertos) We are here as best we can. Love  ya !I Is Jose there (World Central Kitchen)  ?


Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I had heard about the end of the fuel subsidies but not about the following strikes and shortages. What happens if the strikes go on longer than people's food stocks? Do lots of people have weeks worth of food in the freezer like you do?

 

What I don't understand about the strikes is that it seems that the people hurt the worst by them (everyone running out of food) have nothing to do with the cause of the strikes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I could read about the situation today was a NY Times story.

  • Like 1

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KennethT said:

What happens if the strikes go on longer than people's food stocks? Do lots of people have weeks worth of food in the freezer like you do?

 

What I don't understand about the strikes is that it seems that the people hurt the worst by them (everyone running out of food) have nothing to do with the cause of the strikes.

 

Well... I'm originally from Northern Canada. I habitually prepare to be snowed in, even when I'm living somewhere that it doesn't snow! This means that I have a lot more stock layed in than the average Ecuadorian family - the philosophy here is that one can always get fresh ingredients, so why worry about holding anything?

 

If the strikes go on past the end of the he food stocks? It's already happened in Cuenca, about 6 hours south of me. The military had been flying in a C-130 (Hercules) full of staple food and basic supplies in a daily run; they'll do the same for us. Rationing will go into effect at the same time.

 

This short term hardship is understood by just about everybody in the country over the age of 25 as a necessary measure to effect gravely needed social change. So people essentially come together as communities, tighten their belts, and endure.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense Egregious typos (log)
  • Like 12
  • Thanks 1

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Panaderia Canadiense I'd read nothing of this news.  I pray the social situation resolves quickly.  You are in my prayers.

 

My thoughts turn back to the siege of Paris when guests at the American embassy were dining on canned lobster.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's dinner - cooking during a shortage is generally simple fare whose leftovers can form the foundation of future meals.  In this case, roasted chicken breast, scalloped potatoes, and steamed beets and greens.

IMG_20191008_185703.thumb.jpg.3e1d74bc36944ce05eb8b76d8af0229f.jpg

 

IMG_20191008_185710.thumb.jpg.aab47118f12c1d0f9ef20158d7232774.jpg

 

The bones from the chicken breast, along with the drippings, go into the freezer for soup base. The potatoes will be incorporated into a locro, and any leftover beets will go to borscht.

 

The idea is to plan meals with as little waste as possible; our trimmings and peels (as everyone else's in the Barrio) are going to feed my downhill neigbours' pigs, which we may wind up eating as a community, near the end of the month if the situation doesn't improve.

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 2

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking of you every day, my friend!  It is interesting to see a place where the people have a long view instead of just worrying about their immediate situation.  I understand that things change when actual starvation looms, but it is heartening all the same.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

I understand that things change when actual starvation looms, but it is heartening all the same.

 

This is going to be really interesting, because Ambato is uniquely prepared for a siege of this kind. It's unlikely that the city will ever face true starvation - most houses have kitchen gardens and there is a huge culture of urban orchards. We might eventually become vegan, but we won't die of that!!!

 

The test is going to be in how well we can pull together as communities to make sure everybody's needs are met.

  • Like 14

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Panaderia Canadiense  Best wishes to you at this time.  You have the right attitude to deal with this; many expats do not.  We have had intermittent shortages of goods and services, and some nasty cartel violence during our years in Mexico, though never a shortage of most foodstuffs simultaneously that you are experiencing.  Like you, we figure if such a strike or stoppage of food deliveries should occur, that the family farms near us would help pick up the slack, though after the prolonged gasoline shortages we experienced last winter we wonder how the produce would get to us, or vice versa.    

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the hardest of times it is when you see peoples truest colors bloom and shine.

 

Sounds like you are cut from some good quality cloth and have both your family and those around you in mind and in good hands.

 

Best of luck during these trying circumstances & thank you for sharing with us!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear PanaCan,  just read your entry and my sympathies go out to you, your family and your country.  And no, we'd not heard one word of your plight.  all best, Darienne

  • Like 1

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your community and your country will be in my prayers. I'd offer to ship you some dried beans and whatever else could travel easily, but I don't expect the mail would get through, either...

 

  • Like 1

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh!!!  I haven't been online or watching TV much (Euro news and BBC news are the go tos here).   I can identify with what you said about how the community will come together for the better of all.   Will keep you, yours and your community in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Like 1

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, today was a day for staying in. It's the first official day of the National Strike, in which basically everybody walks off their jobs. My city remains calm, but the indigenous of the high páramos marched in downtown this morning, and a strict curfew is in effect.

IMG_20191009_094518.thumb.jpg.457cfdeec3a057121031aaa934842aaa.jpg

 

This meant a brunch on fridge-cleanings (aka guess that leftover!) Which was not inspiring, but it was filling, which is more the point. It also freed space in the refrigerator.

 

This afternoon's task was a bit more daunting: before the markets closed their doors on Sunday, I bought an entire 3kg haunch of lamb from Glorita, my favourite butcher. It's time to break this down into meal-sized units, strip off the fat and connective tissue, and basically get it ready for easy meal prep in the coming weeks.

IMG_20191009_170921.thumb.jpg.5f30f2629c81f9a75464850973cacf90.jpg

IMG_20191009_175854.thumb.jpg.b726c92d341a0e3da2a308d4e823089a.jpg

 

The little steel bowl is tonight's meal - lamb moussaka. I got four meals out of the haunch: meaty bones for scotch broth, smaller cubes for kebab, and larger chunks for the grill.

 

IMG_20191009_183705.thumb.jpg.07353e75df06b9fec6600e7ef7f5b6b7.jpgIMG_20191009_184101.thumb.jpg.c24fd88898fda623344c9e35890b2552.jpg

 

The moussaka is on the stove now. I'm doing a stove top version of the dish to conserve gas; the bechamel sauce will be on the side, and I'm serving it with rice.

 

IMG_20191009_175932.thumb.jpg.bef657b3209d2aa777a28305a4390279.jpg

 

My freezer still looks good, but one of tomorrow's challenges going to be tomato hunting.

  • Like 10

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your horror - but am now lamb obscessed - minds are strange...  Goat on my mind also. Beef and chicken can take a long vacation ;)


Edited by heidih (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Panaderia Canadiense said:

I have a big ol' bag of goat in the freezer!!! It's destined for an encocão.

 

What happens to your freezer when someone turns off the electricity?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

What happens to your freezer when someone turns off the electricity?

 

 

I bring my backup generator online. It's Eolic; I don't need to worry about fuel for it that way.

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By KennethT
      I was thinking of doing a food blog of my recent trip through parts of New Zealand's south island.  Most of the food we had was nothing spectacular, but the experiences and various scenery we had over the trip were amazing.  Is there any interest in this?
    • By Melania
      It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita.
       
      My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away.
       
       
      What a nightmare! How can this be?
        A local passing by must have noticed my frustration.   "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!"
        Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta?
        A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really).
        For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach!
        Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system!
        "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
               
           
    • By KennethT
      OK.... here we go again!!!  While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now.  As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
    • By KennethT
      Happy New Year!  I'm sitting at the gate waiting for my flight from Saigon to NYC connecting through Taipei so I figured this would be a good opportunity to get started... But this is just the intro- the rest will gave to wait until I land about 22 hours from now, sleep for about 12 hours, then get my photos in order! We had a great week enjoying beautiful weather, taking in the frenetic yet relaxed street life and eating some amazing local food...
      Our flight here was on EVA Airline and was very pleasant and uneventful. Our flight from Nyc to Taipei left around 12:20 AM on the 24th. I love those night flights since it makes it very easy to get a decent amount of sleep, even in coach. EVAs food is quite good eith both Chinese and western choices for dinner and breakfast, and they came through several times with snacks such as a fried chicken sandwich with some kind of mustard. I think I had 4 of them!
      Once I get home, I'll continue posting with pics from our feast in the Taipei airport.... Spoiler: those who have read my Singapore foodblog from July may see a slight trend...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...