When I first arrived in Ecuador I was blown away by all of the food. There was new food on my plate every day. And a lot of it. I was utterly amazed at how much my host family and friends were able to eat in one sitting. And they did it quickly. I would be half way done and completely stuffed and they would be sitting with completely empty plates ready for the next round. I would sit down for lunch and see a large bowl of food and think Oh I can do that, today and right when I had taken my last bite they would set down another plate filled with chicken, rice, salad, and corn on the cob. Let’s not forget the natural fruit juice and coffee as well.
I learned my first day here, (it didn’t take long at all) that not finishing all of the food on your plate is offensive. I have been trying my hardest to be a part of the clean plate club every day since, which has naturally left me with the “post-Thanksgiving dinner” feeling every day for about a week. Eventually my body got used to the excessive about of food I was shoveling into it and now it just seems normal. Honestly, I should enter an eating contest when I get home to show off this new skill.
Overall, the food here has been more than wonderful. I’ve been eating a lot of chicken and there is white rice with almost every meal, but there have also been plates of shrimp that have almost made me cry because they were so delicious. I’ve fallen in love with yucca. Especially the kind that grows in Intag. And the bread here cannot even compete with the bread from the States.
So here is a little run down of what a usual day look like for me.
7:30 am- Breakfast
Break with cheese, jam, or Nutella.
Fruit- apples, pears, papayas.
An egg in some type of form.
Homemade juice. The flavor changes daily.
Tea or coffee.
9:30 am- School Breakfast
The government gives each teacher and student a breakfast every day at 9:30. All classes stop for 15 minutes in order to do so. Each day we are given some type of “cookie” and a vanilla flavored milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
* By “cookie” I mean the worst salt cookie you could imagine or a bubble gum flavored granola bar. But they call them cookie. Personally, I think it is putting shame on the cookie name, but who am I to judge someone’s culture??
* I tried the milk once. Never again.
2:00 pm- Lunch
Lunch changes a lot depending on the day. During the week is it usually some type of meat. Chicken or pork is the most common, but we do seem to have fish at least once a week. There is always white rice. Usually, there is something made from corn. And there is a “salad” of some sort. My host mom calls mix of veggies a salad, which I am more than okay with. There is also more homemade juice and tea or coffee.
On the weekends, lunch is a little more developed. Usually starting with a soup and ending with a slice of torta. My host mom likes to go all out on the weekends.
7:30 pm- Dinner
Reread the lunch section.