Ecuador
Potatoes and corn play a vital role in most dishes; Andean markets in particular are full of them. The 200 varieties of spud are often used in soups like locro, or the street favorite choclos (corn doused in cheese, guacamole, and cream). Seco de chivo (goat stew) and ceviche—with corn, of course—are common in most restaurants, though the country’s pièce de résistance is a fried rodent. Yes, cuy (guinea pig) performs an integral part of indigenous culture, not only for keeping as a pet but for its purported healing powers and sweet, smoky taste. Intrepid diners may want to wash it down with Ecuador’s corn beer, chicha de jora, or the sugarcane-based aguardiente—a sharp, potent, and dance-inducing liquor. The land erupts with fruits, making for delicious juices like maracuyá (passion fruit), tomate de árbol (tree tomato), and uchuva (physalis).