Craig is on his way back to the States.
He joked that when he gets to the office he’s going to hand someone $3 and ask them to get him some lunch… with soup, a steak, rice, fresh-squeezed juice, and dessert.
I just splurged on a $4 lunch that had all that. I’m still learning how to eat like an Ecuadoran; I may never love chunks of cheese in my hot chocolate. But I’ve finally got the soups figured out.
1) The pieces of potato that seem woody aren’t potato. They’re yuca root.
2) The orange things that aren’t carrots are pumpkin!
3) If the waitress brings a little plate of popcorn with your soup (like with my cream of carrot today) you are supposed to put it in there, like oyster crackers! This is surprisingly wonderful.
4) The soup isn’t bland. You’re supposed to stir the aji (oniony, garlicky, hot saucey goodness) that’s sitting on the table in there. I stir in enough to make me sniffle a little. It’s wonderful, and every cook has his/her own secret recipe.
I’m still not certain about the ettiquette for handling bone-in chicken or on-the-cob corn that appear in one’s soup, but fingers seem like a necessity at some point.