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Amazon Cuisine: Influenced by Its Environment

Ecuadorian Amazon Cuisine Influence | Start Living Ecuador

The indigenous groups and tribes in the Amazon jungle have their own cooking traditions, which characterized by using what they can gather, fish or hunt.

The Ecuadorian Amazon has 120.000 km2 of majestic vegetation that has the Andes as their west limit. This area is a paradise for birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts.

Here the biggest biodiversity in the world is found, this region includes the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana, Napo, Pastaza, Morona Santiago, and Zamora Chinchipe.

The rainforest ecosystem is the richest in animals and vegetation, and its habitats are the most complex in the world.

This area of Ecuador has lots of Oil reserves and is very important in the oil based economy that the country has since 1970. In 1998 the Ecuadorian Government declared the Southern part of the Yasuni National Park as an Untouchable Area because there are settlements of un-contacted tribes.

The Yasuni National Park is one of the regions with the highest biodiversity on the planet. The latest studies say there are 150 species of amphibians, 121 of reptiles, 598 species of birds, more than 200 species of mammals and 2113 species of flora already identified and it is estimated to have around 3100 flora species unidentified.

Cuyabeno Natural Reserve is located in the Sucumbios province in the northern par of the country. It is a complex ecosystem of 13 lagoons, rivers and tropical forest that make this 603.000 hectares hold the record in levels of biodiversity.

Cuyabeno is the home of some very special animals such as the pink dolphin and the manati.

The reserve is part of the Nacional System of Protected Areas and to be able to provide touristic activities in these areas you will need special permits. This is why not many travel agencies have the capability to work in it, thus limiting the number of visitors that can visit the Reserve.

This tropical forest has a dry season in which lots of things change, lagoons dry out, and the animals migrate to the rivers or stay gathered in the small ponds that stay in certain places. This is the time when new trees grow having just these months to reach a certain height if they want to survive the flooding.

There are different tribes living in this reserve such as de Cofanes, Siona-Secoya (very legendary in the area).

The indigenous groups and tribes in the jungle have their own cooking traditions, and it´s characterized by mainly using what they can gather, fish or hunt. Such as yuca (cassava), a variety of fishes, guanta, guatuza, monkey or caiman are de base of their diet.

The chontacuro is a larva that lives inside the Chonta palm and is a recognized dish not only because of its flavor but also because of its healing properties for respiratory problems.

Maito de pescado is a preparation in which fish is cooked inside a bijao leaf with salt and seasonings found in the jungle.

It is not easily described how the life and gastronomy of the area is. For that you will first need to see the hard work needed to bring products to the settlements and how far the civilization is when you are in the middle of a majestic place like the Amazon forest.

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