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Ecuador - Cuenca - Food and Market in City Centre

Think the photos below give a flavour of what Cuenca in the Andes Highlands looks like with plenty of focus on food and markets - the main business of the city. Note the warm dress of the ladies as well as the "Panama" hats, which actually originated from Cuenca. These photos were taken in the market area of Cuenca during September 2012.

I was totally fascinated with this kind of fast food on the side of the road. Pig on a spit is very popular and this is a typical scene during lunch time in Cuenca. Ecuador has a long siesta over lunch time - from 12:00 or 1:00 to 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. Actually nice to relax during that time. Every one is back at work by 4:00 p.m. for the last stretch until 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.

These are fast food cafeterias down the road from my Hotel. I did not have any as was quite careful with what I ate, however gives an idea what fast food the Ecuadorians like.

Here are some photos of restaurants in Cuenca:

I dined in this restaurant during my last night in Cuenca, splurged a little - but even with splurging, excellent value and wine was great. Most of the wine in Ecuador is from Chile - never realized what good wine Chile makes, and also dirt cheap in Ecuador.

There is quite a large US expat community in Cuenca which is quite important for local business, particularly properties. It has one large shopping mall, which I made a point of visiting the first day, so I could buy some necessities like an electric kettle for making tea and coffee. Was delightfully surprised by this bungee type entertainment for children in the mall:

People from Ecuador LOVE their animals, particularly dogs, but I also saw some cats. There was a lovely pet shop in the mall. And arrived at it when a puppy was sold, and his little sibling was left behind. It started to cry so much that the owner took it out so as to distract it. REALLY cute!

These are the outfits one would typically find in all of the pet shops I visited in Ecuador.

4 blog comments below

Nice Hotel, Dean but you really should have tried the local market foods.
standready on Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:38 pm
You're right Standready. Thing is, I had such a concentrated itinerary, was concerned I may get sick. As it was, I did get a very bad stomach upset from the food at the Cajas National Park "restaurant". And I had to travel a very long distance the next day. Food hygiene is known to not be always that fantastic, except in the hotels. If I had stayed longer however I might have been more adventurous, particularly with the pork on the spit. Don't know whether you noticed, people like to eat the skin part, extra crispy. I'm not a pork eater as a rule but that would have been interesting enough to try out.
deanhills on Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:42 am
OMG CUTE PUPPY! Pet stores are dangerous. Whenever I go to a pet store or if I'm near one I will take the time to go in and look at the animals (mostly rodents and really just interested in guinea pigs). I walked into one pet store one day and I swear I saw 6 little piggies and I wanted them all!!!
TheGremlyn on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:03 am
You'd have had a field day in the pet shops in Ecuador. Totally captivating. I remember when I was in a pet shop in Manta Mall on the Pacific Coast and there was a woman who entered the shop with a very tiny dog just sticking out of her bag, and all of the Ecuadorians just completely cooing over it. They are really great animal lovers and social people.
deanhills on Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:19 pm

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