Ecuador Eats: Espumilla

Espumilla or Ecuadorian meringue

An espumilla vendor prepares a cone at the Saquisili market.

In markets, on city squares, and wandering through the streets, one can hear the distinctive, nasal cry of the espumilla vendors. They can be seen most everywhere in the highlands of Ecuador. In Spanish, espumilla means foam, or meringue, and that is exactly what this is. I’ve not been able to find many recipes online, but from what I understood from one vendor’s explanation, espumilla is made of egg whites, fruit juice (usually guava) and sugar. It’s typically sold from a big plastic bin and garnished with sprinkles and gum balls. It looks a lot like ice cream, and initially, that’s what I thought it was. Then I realized it wasn’t being kept cool, which really threw me for a loop! Espumilla is served at room temperature, so if you are looking for a refreshing treat, you may want to stick with actual ice cream. I enjoyed tasting it, but it wasn’t my favorite.

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