Empanada Frenzy: Ecuador Essential Eats Part 4

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A local in Baños makes savory and sweet empanadas.

I know – y’all are probably sick of me gushing about Ecuador by now, but guess what? Empanadas!

Along with the overload of volcanoes we saw (seriously, there are so many volcanoes with so many names; I renamed them all Karl), empanadas are errywhere. A staple in South America, they come stuffed various fillings depending on the region. In Ecuador, green banana is common, as is cheese and one filled with cinnamon and sugar for dessert! The American equivalent would be hand pies, but we all know they just aren’t the same.

The word empanada comes from the word empanar, which means to wrap something in bread. I find that fascinating that there is a whole word devoted to this concept. It just goes to show that the Spanish know what’s up when it comes to their pastries.

Check out mis pasteles favoritos below. I’m very tempted to make some dessert empanadas of my own next week – what are your thoughts on what I should stuff them with? If I pick your filling, you’ll get a homemade batch delivered to you!*

So many options.

* Giveaway applicable to SF residents only.

Starting the trip right with baby empanadas at Hotel Quito. The spicy dipping sauce was awesome as well.

A green banana empanada on the right and a chicken one on the left from Restaurant Yaravi.

A sweet empanada from the local market. I also got a savory one, cus I’m a fatty like that.

The last empanada standing…at the airport! Don’t mind my grimy nails.

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