“Quieres probar?” asked the women at the food stand. “Umm… sí?” I replied hesitantly. As I walked around the 27 de febrero market, the vendors all stared at me for awhile before asking me eagerly whether or not I want to try their products. I really love going to all the different markets in Cuenca because first of all, I really love vegetables and fruits, and second of all, I feel like that is a really great way to experience the Cuecan culture.
This past Saturday, I went into a local market by my house. Even though smaller than all the other markets I have been to, there were still a lot going on. Walking by the food stands and the raw meat section always makes me shiver. And this past Saturday was no exception. Looking at the face of that roasted whole pig, hornado, made me wonder how anyone could ever eat that thing when it is staring directly right back at you.
Prior to coming to Ecuador, I knew that Ecuadorian cuisine has many “interesting” choices that people in the United States probably wouldn’t consider eating. I have decided to try it because I love trying exotic food and where else am I going to find a whole roasted pig with all the body parts? But I did so without looking at the hornado. To my surprise, it was actually pretty good. The skin was very crunchy and was not fatty at all. The meat tasted like any other pork. My tasting of hornado was not bad at all. I am still willing to try out all the other specialties of the Ecuadorian cuisine. One of the things on my to-eat list is cuy. That ought to be some experience!