On the second day here in Ecuador, I broke the program rules and ate food on the street. Not just any food, mind you, but probably the riskiest one I could've chosen - Ceviche (raw seafood and veggies 'cooked' in lemon juice). and... nothing happened. of course. actually, it was deliciouse.
Ever since then I've been on a mission to find and eat as much ceviche as possible. Last week, my abuelitos (grandparents) sent us some conchas (shellfish) from the coast, a species native to ecuador, with a black flesh and salty black juice inside. I thought we were going to make ceviche out of them, but we ended up just making Conchas a la Plancha (grilled). You grill them till they open up and then squeeze in some lime, add a sprinkle of salt, and eat them right out of the shell, juice and all. You can also put the juice in your rice, like i did, to soak up the wonderful briney flavor. They were probably the best seafood I've ever had...
But my family, being awesome, was not to let me down on the Ceviche front. This sunday they prepared 2 types of ceviche, one in a Peruvian style (just lemon and salt) with pescados (fish - tilapia and corvina), and shrimp, and a second, Ecuadorian style (tomatoes, less lemon) with shrimp and onions.
There was also tostada and choclo (toasted and boiled corn kernels) to accompany the Peruvian version, and homemade chifles (plantain chips) and mayo as a snack.
Needless to say, they were AWESOME. I even had seconds, trying to please Mamita, and although I couldn't finish my seconds and got chided, she can't say I didn't try.