So to put it plainly, the food is incredible. The word everyone here uses for every single food is "rico." When someone asks me about the food I just say "rico" and they wildly agree. I haven´t gotten sick at all from it. The locals here say that the food gives some people problems. I think the test is food from the streets. After a week here, I had "pastel de pollo" and didn´t have any issues so I passed.
Here they eat a small breakfast, a large lunch, and a small dinner. For breakfast I usually eat Zucaritas, which are Frosted Flakes Spanish-style, and a toasted sandwich. These sandwiches are all over the place here. They´re just a sandwich with cheese and sometimes a single slice of ham/bologna. They are toasted by an appliance that is like a photo-copier in that it presses the sandwich. I was surprised at how common these are. They sell them at school, and when I went to Guayaquil with Johnny, we went to a little café that sold them.
Lunch is amazing. It´s even better because after 7 hours of school, I´m starved (because I try to hold back on eating at school). It starts out with soup, usually of vegetables. Sometimes the soup has a chunk of meat or some choclo in it. The main course is a meat (most often chicken). Sometimes it´s fish, sausage, shrimp, or beef. With pretty much every meal, there is rice! What I like even more is the fried egg on top of the rice. Sometimes instead of rice (or with rice) we eat "puré" which is just cold mashed potatoes.
Accompanying the meal is often some form of banana. There are a ridiculous (in a good way) number of ways to call bananas here. They have patacones made from "verdes" which are just hard, green bananas. The next most common type of banana is "maduros" which are cooked, sweet bananas.
With the Morocho family, I had plenty of "firsts." I ate chichurrón (fried pork), morocho (the rice milky drink), and umas (sweet smashed choclo) with cheese. This past weekend we stopped by their plantations, and they pointed out to me many new fruits. It was quite crazy how all those fruits were in one place.
Empanadas are amazing as well. They are just little fried bread pockets of cheese or pockets of "verdes" with meat. The ones with cheese you eat with sugar so they´re even better!
Another thing that I love here is ceviche! This is a soup of sometimes fish or shrimp. It has onions (here I love the onions. I think they´re just usually cooked with lime) and some other spices, and you eat it with squeezed limes, chifles (banana chips), and bread. Encebollado is really similar to ceviche (just as delicious!), and I still don´t know the difference. I´ve been saying that I am going to make these when I go back to the USA because I won´t be able to live without them.
And, of course, the fruit is unbelievable. I am eating a fruit right this second that I haven´t ever heard of before; it´s called "mamey" and is orange, hard as an apple, and sweet. They have amazing mangos, papayas, and granadilla. The last one was a fruit I´d never heard of before too. One day another foreign exchange student brought a granadilla to school and was in love with them. She showed me how to eat it, and I tried some - and big surprise, it was amazing. It was a bunch of slimy, semi-crunchy seeds exploding with delicious juicy flavor. I don´t ever remember loving mangos in the USA, but here I love them. I can even cut my own. The seed is large, and you suck on it to get the fruit off - detriments to this is that your teeth get filled with little mango strands and your hands and face are drenched in mango juice. But it´s still worth it. Surprisingly enough, I don´t eat as many bananas here (even though I am in the banana capital of the world). I haven´t noticed that they are incredibly better, but the other fruits make up for it. One week Wacho brought some "mandarinas" from his farm and they were the size of softballs! They were so juicy and sweet. In the orangy fruits there are like 20 seeds in each one. But it´s worth it for them too.