Day 272: Cuenca, Ecuador
Tis the season for round-ups and year in review posts. Rather than a photo post of my favourite destinations I wanted something that would reflect the excitement, pleasure and diversity of Latin America.
When I starting thinking about what I would remember most it seemed silly that I had not immediately considered my first love – food.
So here are my most memorable eats from the year. Some of them are the most delicious and some of them are just, well, memorable.
Mexico – Crickets
While I don’t think I ate anything in Mexico that I didn’t absolutely love, Oaxaca certainly introduced me to many things I loved.
Locals eat these crispy critters flavoured with chile and garlic as a snack. It was delicious and you would never know you were eating bugs if you didn’t see the tentacles.
I could write an entire blog about the deliciousness of Mexico, its streetfood and the other amazing things I ate in Oaxaca such as pickled pigs feet. I only spent 5 weeks in Mexico and I just scratched the surface.
Guatemala – Breakfast
I really had to think about the food in Guatemala because it didn’t stand out. It’s tough to be next in line after Mexico and because tourism is well developed all I remember are a lot of pizza and sandwich places.
However, breakfast is cheap and plentiful and was one of my favourite meals.
Belize – Stewed chicken with rice and coleslaw
I am by no means an expert on Belize. I spent a week there, decided I hated it and moved on. As an entry point Belize City was a disaster and my only memory that was not frightening was the stewed chicken I bought at Jenny’s Shack.
In Caye Caulker I also bought Chef Boyardee beef ravioli and ate it straight out the can but maybe that was a low point in my travels.
Honduras – Baleadas
Not surprisingly there was seafood aplenty in Honduras, particularly at the divers paradise Bay Islands. But my most fond memory is the discovery of baleadas.
My favourite filling of the toasted tortillas was bean puree, avocado, lettuce and tomato. In not-so-distant second place was learning that roasted corn slathered with mayonaise and fresh cheese tastes really good.
Nicaragua – Quesillos
Truly unique to Nicaraguan, I have never seen anything like Quesillos before but they are a cheese on cream on cheese masterpiece.
Nicaragua seemed to have a stronger food culture than Guatemala with many local specialties, and even though the nacatamale wasn’t as good as tamales in Mexico, I still enjoyed them.
Panama – Shrimp cocktail
This was a tough country to crack. I found the American influence on the country meant a lot of fast food joints and even street vendors were mostly selling hamburgers or hot dogs.
I was ready to give up on the country and then stumbled upon shrimp cocktail in the fish market. One bite and I forgot that until then my most memorable moment was eating Pio Pio fried chicken.
Colombia – Ten course dinner
Colombia has fantastic set lunches and incredible seafood but the most memorable was a 10-course dinner in Salento. It was so delicious I had it 3 nights in a row and then waddled out of Salento and back to Cali.
Ecuador – Cuy
Although the country is filled with porky deliciousness, the most memorable food was a different kind of pig. In Banos, my mother, sister and I went to a restaurant specializing in cuy and ordered the lunch special.
A bit traumatizing for my mother as she had once owned a pet guinea pig and was served a portion with feet. However, my sister who is notoriously picky really enjoyed the meal and agreed it tasted like chicken.
Peru – Ceviche
I’ve only spent a few weeks in Peru but have already fallen in love with ceviche and learned how to make it. In particular the discovery of black conch ceviche, a specialty of Northern Peru has landed itself on the top 10 things I’ve eaten.
When I look at all of these foods I realize that while they are all part of Latin America and speak Spanish (well except Belize) they are all incredibly different. What one country may eat changes from town to town depending on what is available, the history of foreign settlements and their proximity to the ocean.
It also makes me feel incredibly lucky to have experienced all of these things, as I didn’t know most of them even existed. I don’t know what 2011 will bring but I am looking forward to eating my way through it.
it never ceases to amaze me how reading your posts/seeing your photos i get hungry even if i wasn’t hungry! ha ha. what a great and fitting year-end. a few new dishes for me to try here- thanks! one of the only things i have tried believe it or not, are the crickets 😉
I’m with you on food running my life. I love it! I can say without a doubt that you had quite the delicious year!
You are killing me girl!! Look soooooo good! 🙂 It was wonderful to be with your adventures.
Love of food is.. Just wonderful. I am so with you. Thanks for great year! 🙂
Yum! Agree with you about Panama – the American influence was everywhere and I had to try hard to track down other foods.
Yum, this post makes me hungry! Everything looks so good!
The perfect post to sum up. Loving your food posts mate, it all looks so damn tasty.
There’s some truly tasty stuff there.
Also….some cholesteroltastic stuff too, by the sounds. “Cheese on cream on cheese”, for example. Was there anywhere where the food got too rich, forcing you to detox for a day or so?
That Guatemala breakfast makes me drool.
Crickets? Eek! Your food posts always make me feel deeply conservative! I will gladly have some of that stewed chicken or porky deliciousness though. Fun & original way to tackle a year in review post defo.
Guatemalan breakfasts can be pretty darn good. Keep you full for half the day as well!
For me, Peru was the highlight of South America. Couldn’t get enough of ceviche!
Oh gosh, while I am a veggie and none of the meat appeals to me, I do LOVE Latin food. Que rico!!! Prospero Ano Nuevo bonita!
A wonderful way to remember the year. Thanks for your comment and I’m glad to hear that you love Kitsch too.
Good list, Ayngelina.
Ceviche and Guatemalan breakfast looks the best to me. Crickets, not so much.
Whoa! Love all the dishes here and I have to say, never tried any of them. Hoping you make it to Southeast Asia to sample out dishes one day.
All of it looks sooo good!
What a fantastic way to remember the year!
Anyone who does a Best Of.. post and focusses entirely on meals they have had is my kind of people…
my favorite Scarey food find – bbq Lizard on a stick- kids love em’ in Thailand.
and joining your blog,,one closer to your 2010 goal-ya!
Nice round-up, Ayngelina. Guatemalan brekkie looks delicious!
I am on a post Xmas diet but the sight of that breakfast has just made my stomach rumble. You are killing me. Wonderful food photographs. Can you send any in the post to Montreal?
PS don’t bother with the crickets.
I cannot believe you have no problem with crickets but an animal that tastes like chicken draws the line!
my favorite foodie!
I love that you chose to remember 2010 through food instead of destinations. Everything looks delicious!! (Except for the cuy- I draw the line there)
I just ate my weight in Arby’s take-out and you have me hungry again already! Damn you, Ayngelina! 😉
Oh geez. I should NOT have read this post with a growling stomach! Now I’m definitely hungry. But I love that you decided to look back on 2010 through your favorite meals!
As if I was not hungry enough as it is, the majority of the food (save the crickets) looked awesome. Just re-ignited my desire to visit my wife’s origins in Columbia.
We are what we eat! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and an awesome new year.. see you in 2011 (i hope!)
Great post and great photos! I also really miss the Guatemalan breakfast. I loved it and the coffee was great too!
OK – I am so ready to eat my way through Latin America (with the exception of crickets and pig’s feet, perhaps). Good idea to have a can of Chef Boyardee at the ready, too. Just in case. The Quesillos in Nicaragua does indeed look like a masterpiece!
Okay, I’ve decided we absolutely HAVE to travel together at some point, if only for the fact that you’d probably make me try some things I otherwise wouldn’t. Crickets? Don’t they get stuck in your teeth?
Awesome year!! We just discovered Baleadas ourselves, although we had some that weren’t very good – but we’ll keep trying 😉
Can’t believe that you actually ate the crickets in Oaxaca – we were happy to be vegetarians when we came across them 😉
Have a fabulous 2011, food-wise it should be at least as exotic & exciting as 2010 😉
Shrimp cocktail! Looks oddly…delicious.
You’ve tried some interesting foods this year! I’ll be following your adventures in 2011 😉
YUM!!! that baleadas looks delicious! now i’m starving and only seafood will do!
More than the food, your food photography is AMAZING! Very impressive, and only getting better!
The whole crickets with lime thing… Not so much.
Great post. We have enjoyed catching the last quarter of your year in food and look forward to more culinary posts in 2011.
And anyone who does a 2010 memories post and focuses on food – well, it’s always going to be a winner with us! What’s coming in 2011? 🙂
Wow! That was a lot of food, and that’s a lot to remember. You’re blog makes me hungry now!
OH MY GOD I was hungry before I started scrolling and now I am famished with a healthy dose of wanderlust…you stinker! Happy New Year!
Yummy. We couldn’t bring ourselves to try the guinea pig either, but the crickets, no problem. Central and South America is definitely filled with great food. What wonderful memories you have and all the best for 2011
From these culinary masterpieces displayed, I can tell you had a hugely successful 2010! Happy New Year!
Great idea-best meals of 2010! Guatemalan breakfast and ceviche look the yummiest to me. Can’t wait to see what you bring us in 2011. 🙂
Great post, delicious dishes, I would probably leave the crickets, but hey, I’m in China, speaking of culinary weirdness 😛
I wish you a very happy 2011!
Cool post – one that has further motivated Shawna and I to get moving on plans for our own RTW, leaving mid-May…Oaxaca will actually be our first stop coming down from Canada…did you have any advice on places to stay?
Well done on a great blog. We have been reading for a few months now…
Happy New Year!
What a wonderful first stop, although where ever you go next will be a disappointment.
I stayed at a very nice new hostel in Oaxaca, I can’t remember the namehttps://www.baconismagic.ca/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?p=2429&approved=1#comments-form though but I did review it on TripAdvisor. It was more like a hotel than a hostel. How long will you be there?
guinea pigs are not pigs :))))))… and they taste pretty much like…. guinea pig.
Love the food round-up! It all looks incredibly delicious especially that shrimp cocktail. Happy New Year!
Mmm – delicious! Happy New Year 😉
What a yummy post! You always take such beautiful shots of your food and it all looks so tasty!
Your food posts are definitely inspiring me to start featuring more of my own food adventures, and maybe even get into recipes as you mentioned on my latest post!
so you REEEEALY like food… lol 😛
This is sure the thing you never forget with your 2010 experience. Actually i also love eating food, but i cannot eat those exotic foods that I think tastes bad. You’ve got a great 2010, and i guess 2011 will be another great adventure for you.
I had that same Chicken/Rice dish in Belize after a day of tubing down a river in the rainforest. We actually saw a small crocodile on tyhe river’s edge. But yeah, that chicken dish tasted so good after an active day. Afterwards we walked through an orange grove and had fire ants bite out ankles. JSJ
Stumbled upon this post from 2 years ago and love it!! Mmmmm, I LOVE Latin American food and all the variety is has to offer!!
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