Definitely Not in Kansas Anymore

So one of the many things I’ve learned about the U.S. while here in Ecuador is that we waste a lot of food.  And I don’t just mean leftovers.

For example, when Ecuatorianos slaughter an animal, they eat all of it.  And I mean, all of it.
The ears, the tongue, the feet, the skin, the fat… everything.  None of it ends up in the garbage.
Chicken heads and chicken feet ready for cookin’.
Cow stomach. Yep.
Cow feet, usually served in soup.
Found these pig feet in the freezer one morning. Also usually served in soup.
It definitely took some courage to stomach these foods with a polite smile, but you know what they say: waste not, want not!

Another difference in food is the tremendous number of exotic fruits they have here…

These are called Tomates de Arboles, but they’re not tomatoes. They’re not eaten raw; they’re almost always used for juice.


Claudias. Very similar to our plums, just not as sweet.

Here the oranges are green.

This avocado, as big as my hand, is considered small.

I forget the name of this fruit, but it’s eaten raw, and you can eat the peel.

This is guava, and it completely weirded me out my first time eating it. I was in the Amazon with two Australian tourists when an elderly woman handed it to us and kept saying “comida, comida.” We figured to break open the leaf and found fuzzy, white stuff inside, which is basically like eating a sweet-tasting cotton ball. But even stranger are the seeds inside the cotton balls, which have a remarkable likeness to shiny black beetles.

This vegetable from Magdalena’s garden is normally covered with long, green thorns.

Yeah… What??

The mangos here can get to a size as big as your head!

Not only are all the fruits delicious, but they’re also very cheap!
The biggest meal of the day is lunch.  It’s comprised of the same basic components: sopa (soup), seco (dry), ensalada (salad or veggies), and of course: arroz (rice!)  Among my favorite of the snacks are chifles (plantain chips) and colada (liquid oatmeal, essentially).  And with every meal is juice, (jugo).
I’ve also encountered a few interesting creatures during my stay here:

I almost stepped on this little guy on my way to work. He is also a frequent visitor in the bathroom!

I wish I had thought to put my hand next to him for size perspective, but this beauty is about the size of a chicken egg.

The spiders here can get pretty monstrous in size; I had encountered a tarantula as big as my hand the other day, but didn’t have my camera with me. :(
The first arachnoid pictured co-inhabited my bedroom, and the second was spotted in the babies’ room of the daycare.
After two and a half months of discovering new plants and animals almost every day, I am reminded that there truly is “no place like home.”

One response to “Definitely Not in Kansas Anymore

  1. Pingback: Bedridden & Chicken Noodle Soup | See Mox Run·

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