One of the reasons Ecuador is amazing is for the richness of its soil. In Ecuador, almost anything will grow and be available fresh and at reasonable price. Because of Ecuador’s many regions, the variety of fruit, vegetables and other products is vast. Going to the market is an adventure for any foodie.
Among the fruit you must check out in Ecuador:
If you are vegan, tubers are what you are looking for. There are different kinds of potato as well as melloco.
The herb stand is my favorite at the market. The witchy looking lady sitting behind a huge pile of herbs will greet you with “what are you looking for my queen/king”, a nice Ecuadorian way of calling you “sweetie”. Herbs in Ecuador are commonly used for infusions with medicinal purposes, for baths with magical purposes, and, of course, for cooking. Some of the more famous Andean herbs you will find include lemongrass, congona, ruda, camomile, uña de gato, savvily and eucalyptus.
Flowers are also found in markets in all varieties and colors. Chocolate, earthen pots, nuts, booze, toys, you name it! Ecuadorian markets sell it all. Last but not least, markets are also popular for serving the real thing when you talk about local food. “Batidos” are a sort of smoothie or milk shake made with local fruits, egg, herbs and are popular for their medicinal or magical properties. Local food favorites include ceviches, encebollados, hornado, fried corvina, tortillas, and soups (caldo de patas and caldo de manguera being among the most popular).
Visit our markets and enjoy a true local experience. We can recommend these markets for a touristy visit, safe and clean and colorful!
- Mercado Central
- Mercado Iñaquito
- Mercado Santa Clara
Don’t forget to ask the stand “señora” when you buy something for your something extra, the “YAPA”!