Unique Snacks of Ecuador

Fine! I’ll eat a bunch of snacks for you. Jeez. You’re so demanding.

I’m showing you the favorite snacks of Ecuadorians, and my personal favourite snacks in Ecuador. Some are salty, some sweet, and one is very unique. It’s a super food from the Amazon rain forest.

How am I suppose to see terrible special effects in this article? Good point! Watch this instead right here!


Tostados means toasted in Spanish, but in Ecuador it almost always refers to toasted corn.
If you’ve had corn nuts, this is pretty much the same thing but it’s made with a different type of corn – usually cancha or chulpe corn.
To make these they fry the kernels up in a pan with pork fat and usually some garlic and onion, then salt them. But you can also find other versions, like a spicy kind.
Ecuadorians will eat these in their soups and ceviches, and serve it with meat dishes like hornado or fritada.
This is probably one of the oldest snacks in the world. The first recorded mention of it goes all the way back to 1545.


Espumilla seller in Plaza Grande, Quito.

That’s ice cream, right?
NO! You foolish fool of foolery.
It does look a lot like ice cream – the first time I saw it I too was a foolish fool of foolery. I thought, “What is wrong with this crazy person carrying around ice cream on a tray in the sun? I should call the CIA (Creamed Ice Authorities)”.
But this isn’t ice cream it’s espumilla, and it doesn’t melt.
It’s basically a mousse made with egg white, sugar, and fruit.
The most common kind is made with guava, but you can get banana, strawberry, blackberry, and more.
It’s often served with this blackberry sauce called “arrope”. It’s basically blackberries, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice.
You can find this at stands all over Quito’s old town. Vendors will often setup outside of schools for when the kids get out.
But it’s also common to make it at home. Kids love to watch the liquids transform into a fluff… Unless you don’t have an electric beater, then it would wouldn’t be fun at all.


These are fried green plantain chips. That’s green plantain chips that are fried, not plantain chips that are fried green.
While you may have had banana chips, these are the Ecuadorian version and they’re usually savoury instaed of the sweet ones that are more popular outside of South America.
They’re made with green plantains, which have a bit of a sour taste to them.
You can find a few different version of them – ones that are sliced vertically, ones that are sliced horizontally, different flavors even. I like the spicy ones.
They also make ones with red bananas that are sweet and kind of sticky.
They’ll often be served with soups and ceviches in Ecuador. I love to pile them in a bowl of encebollado for an added texture.

Yuca chips

yuca chips
I’m sure you can find these in North America, but they might be called cassava chips.
They’re not super popular in Ecuador, but they do sell a few different varieties at the grocery store, and they’re really yummy.
Cassava isn’t that popular outside the tropics, but in Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia – all along the tropics – it’s actually the third largest source of carbohydrates after rice and corn.
Cassava starch is also known as tapioca.
What do you do with cassava starch?
Well, you make a different Ecuadorian snack out of it!

Pan de Yuca

pan de yuca
This is yuca or cassava bread and in Ecuador they like it served with yogurt.
Yuca starch, butter, eggs, and cheese make up the little bundles of joy.
I don’t really get the yogurt – they don’t really compliment each other – but both are delicious, so I guess it works.
There are quite a few cafes in Quito that specialize in the combo. They usually have a ton of yogurt to choose from. I recommend mora, the Ecuadorian blackberry and probably the most popular fruit for drinks in Ecuador.

Macambo nuts

macambo nuts
This is a toasted macambo nut. A Macambo is a type of tree, not an indigenous tribe. These are not indigenous man testicles!
Macambo trees are actually a close relative to the cacao tree, the tree that produces the beans that are made into chocolate.
But this tastes nothing like chocolate (unless you buy the chocolate covered version). They taste like… maybe a combination of almond and walnut?
The indigenous in the jungles of Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador have been enjoying them for 100s of years. To them it’s not just a snack, it’s their powerbar. You’ll get over 20 grams of protein in 100 grams of these. They help reduce blood pressure, aid in muscle relaxation, and they’re high in fiber and Omega 9.
You can substitute these in recipes with almost any nut, or just eat them as is.
If you’re in Ecuador and you want to buy macambo nuts, you can find them in health food stores. There’s a great little shop in Quito called El Ingrediente Perfecto that sells them and some other unique to Ecuador products.