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Ecuadorian food: Mote Sucio

Ecuadorian food: Mote Sucio

You can learn a lot about Ecuador through its food.

Mote has a pre-Hispanic origin and has been part of the indigenous diet since 1590. From Pre-Hispanic origin.

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This article aims to discuss a tasty Ecuadorian dish, mote sucio.

About mote

The culinary identity of the Azuay province boasts a significant component known as the “mote.” With its roots tracing back to pre-Hispanic times, the “mote” is a staple obtained by cooking corn with its shell removed. The Azuay region specifically employs the shima and white varieties of corn to create this delectable treat. Throughout history, the indigenous communities have cherished the “mote,” incorporating it into their traditional meals as early as 1590. Cooked meticulously in clay pots over firewood and ash, the corn is rendered tender and exquisite, preserving its authentic essence.

One of the most cherished dishes featuring the “mote” is the renowned “Mote Pata.” This sumptuous soup combines the peeled “mote” with an array of mouthwatering ingredients, such as succulent meats like pork ribs, bacon, and smoked chorizo. To further enrich the flavors, a harmonious blend of zambo seed, colored butter, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, and cumin is masterfully incorporated. The result is an unparalleled culinary delight, showcasing the rich heritage and cultural significance of the “mote” in Azuay’s gastronomic landscape.

About Cuenca

Situated in the southern region of Ecuador, the province of Azuay houses the captivating capital city, Cuenca, which has been bestowed with the prestigious title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within its boundaries lies the awe-inspiring Cajas National Park, further adding to the province’s natural wonders and cultural significance.

About mote sucio

The main ingredient for this dish, mote,  comes from kichwa and means “wrapped corn.”

Mote, translated often as hominy, is an Andean variety of corn that is somewhat savory compared to the corn found in the U.S., and it has larger kernels.

Mote sucio is a staple from Cuenca, Ecuador, and translates to dirty mote it is due to the fact that the mote is mixed with mapahuira (pork lard that is left after preparing dishes with pork)

Another popular and equally delicious dish you must try is mote pillo. (pic below)


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instagramI would love to see your pictures if you are in South America.

What it tastes like

Considering that Ecuadorian corn is somewhat savory and drier than the corn found in the U.S and that mote sucio includes mapahuira or pork lard, this is a flavorful, tasty dish.

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How and where to eat mote sucio

Mote Sucio is commonly served with a side of ají or hot sauce. For some, it is a great starter. For others, it is a meal.

There is one place where you will find for sure mote sucio, and that is the province of Azuay.  This dish is the specialty of Cuenca and its surroundings.

You can often find this dish served in restaurants offering traditional food from the highlands of Ecuador.

If you want to make your own mote sucio, check out this recipe. 

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Below is a picture of mote pillo , another one of the most traditional dishes of Cuenca.

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Have you tried mote sucio?

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Want to Learn to make some of these dishes and many more? Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, This book comprises 500 well-written recipes from all Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, providing great information and recipes of the exciting food you can prepare at home. At the same time, you plan your visit to South America.

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Ecuadorian food: Mote Sucio

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