First Month in Quito

Oonagh Jordan
August 30, 2015

Hey everyone! This is Oonagh, and I'm checking in to make my first post on my experience so far in Quito. This is going to be a watercolor/illustration blog, and I'll be posting a painting/drawing related to what I've been up to every week. I've chosen this medium becuase I've always had a casual interest in art, and this will be a great way to better my artistic skills. 

I didn't bring much to Quito (I left room in my suitcase so I could bring stuff back), but I did bring an assortment of pencils, pens, markers, and watercolors for the blog and personal projects. And so, onto my first post!

Without a doubt, my favorite aspect of life in Ecuador is the incredible variety of fruits. Initially, it was also the most difficult aspect of living in Quito, as I had never before heard of many of these fruits. You can either eat these fruits straight, or have them juiced (jugo puro), or my new favorite, in a milkshake (called batidos - fruit blended with milk). 
Here's a breakdown of what I've had so far. 
  • Guanábana - a spiky green fruit (the size of a small papaya), with white pulp on the inside. In english, it's apparently called soursop, which is an insult to the fruit's taste. I've only had it in juices, but it has a very nice, subtle, sweet taste. 
  • Mora - Andean blackberries. While we obviously have blackberries in the U.S., we usually just have them in pies. Here, they have blackberry juice and batidos - both are sweet/sour and very refreshing. Batido de mora is incredibly delicious - I will definitely be making this when I get home. 
  • Tomate de árbol - translates directly into "tree tomato." It's a very popular juice here, and it tastes fairly similar to tomato juice (though less intense and slightly sweeter). Honestly, it's not my favorite.
  • Granadilla - a variety of passionfruit, and the most interesting fruit I've ever eaten. Someone in my program brought one of them on our trip to Mitad del Mundo (the "equator"). On the outside, the fruit looks normal - like an unripe orange. But the inside was ... different. My immediate reaction was that it looked like a pod of alien eggs - black seeds in a semi opaque white/clear pulp. We had to scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and it was super gross and very goopy. Many elected not to try it, likely because of its unsavory appearance. However, it has a surprisingly strong taste, very citrusy and sweet. I really like it and would definitely try it again.
  • Pitahaya - dragonfruit. Some dragonfruits are pink/purple, but the Ecuadorian variety are yellow. (This was the last fruit I painted, and I kind of messed up the execution. I didn't do it justice - it's a very cool looking fruit, with a spiky exterior.) I've only had it whole. I really love this fruit. The interior is white with black seeds, and has the same consistency of a kiwi, although slightly more watery. It has a very subtle, sweet, syrup-y taste. I'm going to hunt for this fruit when I get back to New York. 
  • Melón - cantaloupe. I often have cantaloupe for breakfast at home, but I've never had it in a juice before. It's a really delicious juice, and my host mom makes it for me in the mornings often.
  • Maracuyá - another variety of passionfruit. I've had this in batidos (incredible) and my host mom has been flavoring her avena (oatmeal; her variety is heavily spiced and fairly liquidy - you drink it) with the maracuyá fruit. It has a very nice, sweet taste, and is slightly citrusy/acidic. 
  • Papaya - I've had it often in the U.S., but I'm aware that it isn't super common there. The papaya here is delicious, and very flavorful. I have it sometimes with yogurt and granola, or as a juice. The juice is not my favorite (I'd rather have it whole), but it has a very interesting taste. 

Sorry for the super long post - the length is a testament to the love I have for all the fruits here. Anyway, thank you for reading, and you can expect a new post within the next week!


More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Oonagh Jordan

<p>I&#39;m Oonagh (ooh-nah), a junior at Grinnell College, and a Political Science major who fancies herself an occasional artist and a lifelong doodler. I&#39;m very excited and mildly terrified to start my stay in Quito, but I&#39;m very much looking forward to immersing myself in the language and culture.</p>

2015 Fall
Home University:
Grinnell College
Political Science
Explore Blogs