Gastronostalgia ​

Okay, maybe I made that word up. But I needed a term for a particular phenomenon many of you have probably experienced: the warm, fuzzy feeling of eating a familiar food that you haven’t had in a very long time. Anyone who went to a far away school, moved to a different state, or lived abroad knows what I’m talking about.

For me, visiting the Andes again was all about gastronostalgia, and instead of my usual densely-packed list of potential things to see and places to visit, I went there with a list of foods 2 pages long that I wanted to eat.


By the time I left Ecuador, I thought I never wanted to eat a watery potato and cilantro soup ever again. I was wrong. It still isn’t very delicious, but it tasted inexplicably like coming home. The bits in the middle are fried unripe plantain bowls with a sweet tomato sauce, and the bit on the left is chicken and tomato sauce.


Granadilla is the perfect street food. You buy it for a few cents, crack it open, and suck out the sweet, juicy, refreshing, somewhat crunchy goodness. Don’t mind the fact that it looks like salamander eggs and the texture is kind of like a slimey pile of sunflower seeds. The flavor is worth it. Incidentally, this is a variety of passion fruit, which is Josh’s favorite juice. I was excited to share this experience with him so he could try the real thing.


Me with a teeny cup of coffee on the main square.


Arepa burger + extremely tasty thing I can’t remember. Choclo (a large mesoamerican corn variety), quail eggs, meat, cheese, and shoestring fries.


This is not an ice cream sundae. It is a heap of shredded cheese, heavy cream, and mixed fruits. There’s 1 small scoop of the icy stuff in there that seems to be fruit cake flavored. It was good.


The variety of fruits in South America is phenomenal. Top 3 fruits: Lulo (naranjilla), granadilla (passionfruit), tomate de arbol (tree tomato). Middle fruits: Granadilla, slices of lulo, mangostina (mangosteen), red tomate de arbol. Bottom fruit: opened mangostina


Just an entire store for avocados… or a front? We couldn’t decide.


This cheese-filled fried dough and meat on a stick was probably the best food we ate in Colombia. Unfortunately, it was actually Venezuelan.