Ecuador lives off the export of oil and products to the Imentarios, more than fifty, and believes that the time has come to become the new gastronomic destination of Latin America thanks to a cuisine that varies from the coast to the Sierra, which travels from pre-Hispanic times to modernity.
“The world already knows our products. Our chefs have traveled the world and have formed, and only in the United States, Italy and Spain more than 30% of the Ecuadorian workforce works in restaurant kitchens. The time has come for promotion, “explains in an interview with Efe the best-known Ecuadorian chefs, Carlos Gallardo.
Researcher, author of a fortnight of culinary books and diffuser of the gastronomy of his country through its restaurants in Ecuador, new York and, soon Miami, Gallardo has traveled to Spain to sign a research agreement with the Basque Culinary Center of San Sebastián and offer several banquets in Madrid on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the artist Oswaldo Guayasamín.
“Guayasamín, one of the largest painters in the world, had a great love for its roots, and so is today Ecuadorian cuisine, which exports to the world more than 50 endemic products,” explains the cook of Zero Lab, which cites among them cocoa, coffee, tuna, shrimp legs Whites, quinoa, corn, chilies and fruits such as pitahaya, passion fruit, Uvillas, mortiños, miracle pineapple, bananas or mango, as well as edible roses “of an incredible flavor”.
Ecuador has been preparing for 15 years to be the new gastronomic destination in Latin America-“Peru cost about 35 to be up there,” he recalls-and is now ready to “go on the promotion” with activities like the one next December 12.
“After more than 200 years of Republican life, there is a State policy in favour of the export of gastronomy. The National Assembly approved the export, healthy food and Ecuadorian gastronomy products to be celebrated on 12 December. We want the first celebration to be in Madrid, with a three-day event to showcase the products, cuisine and culture of the Ecuadorians, ‘ he explains.
It is about teaching the insular cuisine of the Galapagos Archipelago, with “its prawns and its lobsters of two meters, very juicy”; The coast with white-legged shrimp as a star, seasoned with tropical herbs, peanuts or bananas depending on latitude; The Sierra with its marinated pork roast “with tropical flavor” and the ancestral of the Amazon.
Also of proposing to the gastronomic tourist that visits the multiple markets of the country and that it eats in its hollow, popular establishments specializing in local dishes like onions (soup of tuna with cassava), meats of pork, cow, hen or guinea pig on the grill, or Fish and shellfish.
Discover the pre-Hispanic cuisine, the Creole product of the merger with Spain, the Republican, “mix of cuisine from all over the world with Creole”, and the contemporary hand of a new batch of chefs who delve into their roots without forgetting the current techniques.
All this is backed by a greater awareness of the producer, fair trade and sustainability. Carlos Gallardo, who works in “The Great book on Ecuadorian Tuna”, recalls that FAO has chosen its country as “the most sustainable destination for responsible fisheries in the world”.