“If you like Colada Morada, getting caught in the rain…”

Then Ecuador is the place for you especially the Amazon. It rains about nine feet of rain every year. The east coast where I am from receives about five feet of rain every year. So chances of getting caught in the rain are very likely here. Now you must be wondering what is Colada Morada. Colada Morada is a traditional drink consumed throughout Ecuador on All Souls Day, the name Colada Morada comes from its purple hue, morada, and is colored by the berries from which the drink is made. This drink is usually served with guagua de pan, a bread shaped like a swaddled infant.  Guaguas de pan literally translated means ‘bread babies’.  The word guagua (pronounced wa-wa) is Quechua for baby or young child. These bread babies can be up to 12 inches long and are decorated with icing and may have jam or some other sweet filling inside. Colada Morada and guagua de pan is consumed on November 2 all over the Andean region. They are made by families and exchanged among groups of family and friends and given to godchildren. In rural cemeteries and indigenous communities they are used as offerings as part of a ceremony of encounter with one’s ancestors. I helped to prepare this drink which took a little more then two hours. Two hours of constant turning and mixing. My biceps are rock solid now and I learned patience. If anyone needs a good bicep workout I highly recommend making Colada Morada. Here is the  recipe.

-mortiño (i.e., “Blueberry of the Andes” or myrtle berry)
-mora (i.e., very similar to blackberry)
-piña (i.e., pineapple)
-naranjas (i.e., oranges)
-canela (i.e., cinnamon)
-clavo de olor (i.e., cloves)
-panela (i.e., unrefined whole cane sugar)
-maicena – corn flower base (i.e., cornstarch, black flour or purple corn flour)
-ishpingo (Ecuadorian spice)
-pimienta dulce (i.e., sweet peppercorns)
-bundle of aromatic herbs (huerba buena, arrayan,  orange leaves, lemon verbena)
*notice there are no measurements included. Something I noticed is that no one really uses measuring cups here.