Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Andes, Amazon & Pacific Coast: A Taste of Ecuador in 5 Iconic Dishes

Roast guinea pig, or cuy, is an Andean staple dating back to Inca times.

By Russell Maddicks
For anybody interested in the hugely diverse dishes of Ecuador, I'll be giving an illustrated presentation on Ecuadorian travel and food at the London Globetrotters Club on Saturday April 11, 2015, at The Church of Scotland, Crown Court, behind the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden.

Admission costs £3 for Members and £6 for Non-members. You do not need to be a member to attend, and they do not sell advanced tickets, so just come on the day. Doors open at 2:15pm and the program starts around 2:30pm with each talk lasting approximately 40 minutes.

Squeezed between Colombia in the north and Peru in the south, Ecuador is named for its location on the Equator and encompasses high Andean peaks, steamy Amazon jungles, and a long Pacific coast, as well as the world-renowned Galapagos Islands some 1,000 km off the coast.

The landscape is so varied that Ecuador has been described as a microcosm of every microclimate found in South America.

This diversity makes it a magnet for tourists, mountain trekkers, birders, volunteers, and increasing numbers of US retirees looking for a warm, culturally interesting, economical, and safe place to spend much of their time.

What many people don't appreciate is that the country is also a foodie's paradise, with a cuisine as varied as the terrain.

Signature dishes range from the sublime - such as Andean locro de papas (a creamy potato and cheese soup), coastal ceviche (fish or prawns marinated in lime), and hornado (whole roast hog) - to cuy (roasted guinea pig), a must-try Inca delicacy for all adventurous carnivores.

In this presentation, I will give a visual tour of all the top travel spots and unique adventure opportunities on offer in Ecuador with a special focus on the tastiest treats available in each region of the country.

About the Speaker: Russell Maddicks is a BBC-trained writer, translator, and journalist. A graduate in Economic and Social History from the University of Hull, England, he has spent the last twenty years traveling, living, and working in South and Central America, most recently as Latin American Regional Specialist for BBC Monitoring.

A fluent Spanish speaker, he has made many extended trips to Ecuador, one of his favourite South American destinations, where he has explored the length and breadth of the country both for work and for pleasure.

He is the author of Culture Smart! Ecuador (2014), Culture Smart! Venezuela (2012) and the Bradt Guide to Venezuela (2011). He has just started work on a new book about Nicaragua.


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