We just spent our first night in Ecuador, where they say you find “La vida estada pura,” or “Life at its purest.”
We were welcomed with a glass of fresh tree tomato juice. Tree tomatos are a local fruit with a thin rind of mottled green-red. When you slice one in half with a knife, it looks like the inside of a firm, bright yellow tomato. But the taste is nothing at all like a tomato. It’s a fresh citrus flavor, sweet and inviting — a bit surprising in something without the watery, pulpy texture of citrus.
Tree tomato juice looks like a glass of orange juice, but it’s a little thicker — somewhere between a juice and smoothie. If orange juice is a glass of sunshine, then this tastes like orange juice on a vacation, gliding down a river under the rainforest canopy on a hot, lazy day — ready for a nap. Sultry. Delicious.
In fact the entire night was delicious, including a local Ecuadoran dessert, a form of arroz con leche. It was a classic Spanish rice, orange, and cinnamon pudding, but unusually light ,like an incredibly light mousse, served over an olive oil, peach, and almond crust — with a bit of caramel. Fresh berries on the side. Wow.
Off to explore Quito today.