Ecuador has a wide range of traditional cooking; hence cookware varies from region to region. In the coast the main source of food is fish, seafood and plantain. In the highlands it is pork and potatoes and in the Amazon fish and mammals. Certain beetle larva is eaten as a delicatessen by the locals: known as “chontacurros”; snails, beetles and tarantula spiders (Hoaorani).
Cookware includes the famous piala, clay pottery, wooden spoons and forks, wooden chopping boards, baskets and trays. Also some articles made of stone like mortars and meat pressers. In some communities meals are cooked inside banana leaves in hot coal.
Ecuadorian cooking is famous for enhancing the natural taste of food, spices are widely used, especially pepper, cumin, coriander, parsley, garlic, “achiote”, and more; most seasoning in done with salt and lemon.
One of the main sauces used is chili sauce, “picante” or “aji” always served in a small clay container. The aji is eaten with most food; Ecuadorians have a taste for hot and spicy cuisine.
There are over 10 varieties of corn and 12 varieties of bean in Ecuador . All are used in traditional cooking and accompanied by potatoes or plantain and meat, chicken or fish. There are a tremendous variety of vegetables available and tropical fruit juices.