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Visit Ecuador's major cities and you'll discover easy access to a hamburger. If you want to make your fast food burger experience a cultural experience, you can check out the local flag bearer in the fast food burger game: TropiBurger. While their burger isn't any better—and may be worse—than the clown-and-king burgers of the world, they deliver their so-thin-it's-almost-not-there patties with a few South American twists.
[Photograph: David Kover] Our San Francisco correspondent David Kover recently went on a trip to Ecuador where he spotted this unofficial In-N-Out in Quito whose menu featured pork chops, fried fish, and empanadas to go along with the burgers....
Guinea pig—or cuy—is considered a delicacy in Ecuador. But for certain tourists, it can be hard to face up to the idea of eating a rodent, especially when it arrives at the table as a whole-roast animal. The Secret Garden Cotopaxi, a lovely hostel on the edge of Parque Nacional Cotopaxi, has found a way to make sampling guinea pig a little less daunting—they serve it on pizza.
The most famous version of chicha gets made with masticated corn (as in, chewed up and spat out), but travel through the Andean countries of South America and you're bound to come across any number of variations of this drink. In Quichua communities in Ecuador, just on the edge of the Amazon Basin, they make a lightly-fermented version of chicha out of boiled yuca that they drink at almost every meal.
Whether it's a permanent market building, or a designated market day on which the locals seem to flood in from the surrounding areas, most towns in Ecuador boast a thriving market culture. These markets are a stunning place to get a look at Ecuador's diversity of produce and culture, not to mention the place to eat some of the best food in the country. Check out photos of the indigenous produce, whole roasted pigs, and more.
American hot dogs are steeped in tradition, served at landmark restaurants and stands that have been doing it the same way for generations. But the frankfurter adapts easily to any cuisine, and lately, some of the wildest hot dogs have been coming out of Central and South America.