Ají, Chifles, y Pescado. Food of the Galápagos.Galapagos, Fall 2011
Eating in the Galápagos is an experience on its own. Our program has a unique eating schedule which goes along well with the unique foods we have all been eating.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we have breakfast at the university. This usually (always) consists of bread, eggs, cheese, juice, yogurt, fruit, and cereal. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, we eat breakfast at home with our host families. For me, this usually includes eggs and come grilled cheese. But occasionally it is something more unique, like today when I had some corn on the cob and cheese, or the Plátano and cheese I have pictured. The days that we eat with our host family for breakfast (T,Th,Sa,Su) we have dinner as a group at a restaurant. The university has four restaurants for us that we circulate though during the semester. The meals at the restaurant consist of meat, chicken, or fish, (for the meat eaters) and usually vegetables (for us vegetarians) paired with rice (always) and occasionally a veggie or other side dish.
The other days we switch (MWF) and eat dinner with our host family. While I am at home I have had a verity of interesting foods. My host family seemed happy to find out that I am a vegetarian that eat’s fish – they usually give me fish (as it is a staple for and Island diet). Other nights, I might have fried rice, or a mix of the two.
For lunch the IES students have meals provided for them at the restaurant we are eating at during week. The lunches usually include the same as the dinners at the restaurants (lots of rice!), and some soup. Other students are on their own for lunches and either go to local restaurants, or make sandwiches at the university.
On the weekends we are all on our own for lunch. This is when we usually try out some of the restaurants in town, or go to the panadería to buy delicious bread to eat with veggies or tuna from the market.
You really never know what to expect with food here, though! We are all enjoying the little treats of the island though – from Ají (a delicious hot sauce that we pour over most of our meals) to “Rico’s” ice cream cart that comes by the university nearly every afternoon (I have been good about resisting…unless he has the chocolate/vanilla flavor combination for the day). Snacks range from the choco-banano’s the lady on the street near the university sells, to the chifles (banana chips) that we are all going to buy heaps of to cart back to the states with us.
One thing that is certain while eating on the island is the delicious juices. The orange juice (my personal favorite) is freshly made from oranges grown in the highlands (often picked by the families themselves). The juices can also be made into delicious milkshakes – or batidos. Although you still never know what to expect when you order one (especially to-go) – one day my friend Sarah got one in a plastic bag!
Along with everything on the island (like the weather), the food is unpredictable – but that’s part of the fun, right?
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