A Travellerspoint blog

Encocado Mixto


Edit from January 2019: I'm afraid that at the time I stupidly forgot to note down the name of the restaurant. It was in either the Roca or Parroquia Pedro Carbo - Concepción areas of town, in the area between Avenida 9 de Octubre and the foot of Cerro del Carmen & Cerro Santa Ana. It is apparently very well known amongst locals. Corozo, which is in the latter, might be it. If you can't find it, I've found another place which does Encocado de Pescado and is well recommended: Restaurante Corozo El Verdadero, which is just off Av. Francisco de Orellana in Kennedy area, not far from the city centre.

Today 'E' and I went into town to a particular restaurant which is famous in Guayaquil for a particular seafood dish that is actually not native to Guayaquil at all but to Esmeraldas province, right at the opposite end of the country by the Colombian border. It's called 'Encocado de Pescado', or coconut fish stew. The owner of the restaurant is from Esmeraldas and on the menu on the wall 'Encocado' is spelt 'Encocao' - apparently in Esmeraldas they don't pronounce their 'd's near the end of words.

Anyway, I ended up having 'Encocado Mixto', a mixture of both fish and shrimps rather than only fish; inevitably it came with rice and a big chunk of plantain. It was delicious; the coconut was relatively subtle and mixed in well with the herbs and seasonings and a little touch of citrus. It was still a very savoury dish and one I definitely recommend. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me so I didn't get a picture.

On the bus back to the language school I asked 'E' about the mayoral election which is coming up. The actual election date is 23rd February, but for a while now election posters and banners have been up around the city. Some taxis and buses have posters spread out over their rear windscreens and within the last couple of days I've seen supporters waving bright green flags around at the traffic lights at one of the main crossroads in Alborada. In fact yesterday on the bus back from work I saw a little makeshift stage set up nearby with banner-covered cars parked up, music playing out of loudspeakers and a guy making a speech to the crowd that had gathered; today I saw an election motorcade go past with a voice coming out of a loudspeaker on the roof of the main car.

Apparently the city centre is always completely packed on election days because everybody takes to the streets. Voting is mandatory in Ecuador and everybody has to go to the polling station that has been assigned to them personally. Apparently it's not violent or anything like that; it's just very crowded and the traffic and public transport becomes (even more) chaotic. Everybody has to show ID at the polling station, so those people who don't have ID have to go to a particular office somewhere to get it before they can vote, which must add to the chaos. I'm going to have a look around the city centre on the 23rd, just for the experience.

After talking about this for a while I suddenly became aware of the man sitting in front of me, speaking loudly to the woman next to him. She didn't seem to know him and didn't in fact engage with him at all. He spoke very quickly so I didn't catch much of what he said. Interested to know what he was talking about, I asked 'E' to translate - it turns out he was preaching to her about the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. After sitting there for a while talking to her, he stood up in the aisle and preached to the whole bus. Jehovah's Witnesses make up the second largest religious group in Ecuador after the Catholics, so it's not uncommon to see people preaching on the bus or on the street, or to have people approach you on the street with leaflets. Almost the only times people have spoken to me on the street in English, it's been to try to give me leaflets.

Once, before Christmas, a girl sat next to me on the bus and started talking to me in Spanish; after a couple of minutes she switched to English. I can't remember much of what she said until suddenly she mentioned that she is an identical twin. I wish I could remember what she said when I then revealed that I'm not only also an identical twin, but a triplet too! I think she asked how we are similar. A few minutes later she asked if she could read me a verse from the Bible, so I said something like sure, go ahead if you want to (I could see that we were nearly at my stop.) So she brought out the Bible and read from it for a bit, before putting it away and getting out some Jehovah's Witness leaflets instead. She asked if she could give me some of them, so I said that she could, but I don't believe in what they say. Then I said goodbye and got off the bus. To be honest I would have taken one, just to see what it said, but I recognised them as the same kind that are occasionally posted through the door to my little apartment block.

Posted by 3Traveller 04:07 Archived in Ecuador Tagged buses ecuador guayaquil ecuadorian_cuisine

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