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Manta - Ecuador

Traditional Ice Cream: Helados de Paila

Paila Ice Cream Recipe

Considered one of the most traditional desserts in our country. How does it differ from traditional ice cream? It is made in a paila (large metal vessel, round and shallow) and its cooling process is done manually.

In a barrel of almost one meter, full of industrial ice protected by a layer of straw and salt in grain over it, the copper paila is placed. And in it a 100 percent liquid mixture.

Then turning the paila must start, and around 10 minutes you can see a semi-frozen and creamy texture that is sticking to the edges of the container; a dough that with the help of a spatula is removed and mixed with the liquid that is still in the center. When all the contents have been semi-frozen, a wooden spoon reinforces the condensation, and the result is an artisanal ice cream.

In Quito, there are several places to taste this dessert, from the north to the south, each with its particularity. In some Ice Cream shops, you can find more than 80 flavors. The traditional with the fruits that you can find all year long blackberry, taxo, lemon, naranjilla (lulo), and the seasonal flavors like ovo and arasha. Also, more than 60 gourmet flavors can be ordered and cover a wide range of unusual flavors like chicha de jora or champagne with roses.

The most famous and renowned Paila Ice Creams are the ones of Ibarra that have been in the family of Rosalía Suárez. Nowadays you can find shops that hold that name in many different cities of Ecuador. Rosalía taught her sons and daughters who taught their sons and daughters and this is how the tradition has passed from generation to generation.

The Ice Cream Recipe (blackberry flavor)


  • Blackberry
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Salt in grain
  • Straw


  • Bronze Pail (paila)
  • wooden bowl or plastic to support the paila
  • Wood screening
  • Wooden spatula

Preparation of ice cream:

  1. The fruit is sorted and cleaned.
  2. Liquefy the fruit and past it through the wood screening.
  3. Juice is sweetened with sugar.
  4. Straw and ice are placed in the wooden or plastic bowl; Then the salt is added and mixed well with the ice.
  5. Put the paila and add the juice of sweetened blackberry.
  6. Start to rotate the paila, the movements must be constant keeping the rhythm.
  7. When the fruit juice is compacted and becomes creamy, the ice cream is at its point, with a wooden spatula collect the ice cream from the edges.
  8. Ice cream is served in cones and accompanied with waffles.

Enjoy this wonderful Ecuadorian dessert!

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Here in Start Living you will find all kind of information you need for traveling around Ecuador. We invite you to visit and discover this wonderful country and live ...

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