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The potato and avocado soup is a traditional starter in Ecuadorian cuisine.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

We took our animal-loving grandson on a thrilling journey to the Galapagos Islands last spring – a place of beauty, mystery and rich history. We saw blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, reef sharks, giant tortoises and hundreds of other interesting creatures. We flew into Quito, Ecuador – an attractive city built on a plateau on the foothills of Pichincha Volcano. Canada has a strong relationship with Ecuador, and helped build the country's new international airport.

During my stay, I had the pleasure of an Ecuadorean food lesson at San Francisco University, where studying to become a chef is a four-year degree course. Instructor Ana Teresa Perez explained that Ecuador is a country with only one season – summer. But the local cuisine is diverse, as the country has many different altitudes to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables (usually organic). There is plenty of seafood, and the cattle are grass-fed. Everyone eats locally, and the food is simple and tasty.

The following recipes are adapted from a traditional Ecuadorean cookbook written by Perez and two companions.

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Follow Lucy Waverman on Twitter: @lucywaverman

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