The wave season in Ecuador has been pretty mellow, so about a month ago, I decided it was time for me to go play the tourist.
It is currently my fourth long-term stay in Ecuador and I still hadn’t explored anywhere but the coast. So I met with my friend Lyz at the bus terminal of Guayaquil (she was flying from Europe to join me) and then we went traveling up North in the bus. Eating on the road can be really challenging in Latino America, especially in more remote places.
Over time, we have developed some ninja traveler tricks but the options are still very limited. You often only have access to some little shops on the road that sell all the same things; cookies, crackers, plantain chips and cola. Anyways, after two weeks of eating pretty much the same thing, we got into the capital of Quito,, and where pretty excited to get in a bigger city – we were craving some satisfying, different food.
Finally, we found a pizza place where the pizza looked absolutely fab. A real nice crust, made in a special pizza oven, Italian style, something I wouldn’t even dare to dream of, in a place like here. Overstoked, we ordered way too much food. The happiness levels were through the roof, until I took a bite of a slice and realized it had a strange taste. How was this even possible? The crust was amazing, the ingredients on the pizza were pretty simple, a couple of veggies and cheese… I took another bite and then realized the pizza sauce was actually a mix of ketchup and mustard.
Wut. Da. Fack?
I felt the pain in my chest. The brutal deception! The horror!
So when we got back home, it was a no-brainer; we went straight to a nice specialized Super Market in a bigger city to buy tonnes of nice food. We had a huge European food craving, so went crazy on croissant, brie and everything different we could find. Turns out, I found some ground cherries and they were amaaaaaazing. So I had this idea of a thyme, honey and ground cherries compote. A nice sweet and acid contrast, delicious with fine cheeses and walnuts. This was the magic combination that finally, finally got that taste of ketchup and mustard out of my mouth. And now I want to share it with you.
↠ Ingredients ↞
2 cups of ground cherries
1/3 cup of honey
4 sprigs of thyme
pinch of salt
↠ How to ↞
- Cut the ground cherries in half. In a heavy saucepan, combine the ground cherries, honey, thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the cooking juices are slightly syrupy.
- Serve with cheeses & croutons (or crackers), croissant, on a cheesecake or with vanilla cake.
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