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Monday, July 7, 2014

Ecuador: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup





It's time for another dish and drink along the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014! Ecuador, located in Northwestern South America is a coastal country. Being located in a coastal state, we know that means there is plenty of seafood to go around! Today we're going to take a look at the art of ceviche and the fruity Chicha de Piña.











Photo Credit: Laylita.com
Photo Credit: Laylita.com



Ceviche is the method of "cooking" seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans, or mussels) in the natural acid of fresh limes. There are many South American coastal countries that do this and each method has it similarities and differences. Ecuadorian ceviche tends to be a little soupier than others because the juices of the limes and oils are served with the ceviche. You can find a fresh cup of ceviche all along the docks! This particular recipe calls for langostino which is Spanish for squat lobster. The squat lobster is not quite a lobster or a prawn. If you can't find any of these feel free to use shrimp, lobster, scallops or whatever fresh seafood you can get your hands on! The tender meat of the seafood married with the acidity of fresh limes is sweetened by olive oil and red onions. The added zest comes from fresh cilantro and garlic with a healthy kick of spicy peppers to make for a great, chilled summer bite! Try it out and let me know what you think.







Photo Credit: Laylita.com
Photo Credit: Laylita.com

Chicha is an ancient form of beer commonly found in African and South American countries indigenous to their ancestors. As off-putting as it may sound, people chew a specific variety of corn and spit it into a strainer where the liquid is boiled and brewed into a beer. This is a method still used today and has even been recreated by a few hardcore brewers. The founder of Dogfish Head Brewery actually had his entire staff chew pound and pounds of corn just to make an experimental batch to serve in their taproom. Due to jaw fatigue, the staff didn't try this feat for a second time, but it was a fun experiment. Chicha de Piña is not made by chewing anything and spiting it out. It's the simmering  of the skins and core of pineapple with hard brown sugar and spices. This makes for a savory/sweet cocktail not containing saliva.