Tripa Mishqui, the heritage of the Andean Gastronomy.
-Chunchullo?, Chunchurria?, Chinchurria?, Chuchula?… what could be the worst name for that cow intestine so popular in our barbecues? The truth is that you can find it by all those names in Colombia, depending on the region you are. But even the list gets longer all along South America, with similar names like Choncholi or Chinchulín, as they all come from the Quechua word “Ch’unchul”.
It is pretty common to find this delicacy in South American countries, either on streets or Sunday barbecues and Ecuador is not an exception, however, the name they’ve got for this tripe sounds more promising and delicate than the others. They call it in Quechua “Tripa Mishqui”, which means “Delicious Gut”…… and it is indeed delicious.
Despite this visceral delicacy is generally served as a starter during the barbecues, Tripa Mishqui goes a bit beyond. This Ecuadorian Andes dish includes short pieces of marinated and nicely chargrilled small cow intestine, served with boiled potatoes, fava beans, white corn and then loaded with peanut chili sauce and fresh coriander, turning this underestimated “cow leftover” into an exquisite mix of textures and flavours. The fascinating smoky smell of the guts on the grill covers the entire place nearby and it’s practically impossible not to try it. Intestines are incredibly good when grilled, and have a weird texture that can be crispy and chewy in the same bite.
Where? Donde Doña Fabiolita
Donde Doña Fabiolita
Las Vicentinas Park
Ladrón de Guevara Ave / Lérida
Mon – Sun 16:00 – 22:30
A cool way to finish your afternoon and get ready for Quito’s nightlife is heading to Las Vicentinas Park, also known as La Floresta Park, one of the most famous “Huecas” or Street Food places in the city’s downtown, next to Catholic University. Once at the park, it is easy to identify the vendors corner just following the smell of the grill and the hungry crowd that meets every day from 5 in the afternoon, right after work.
Among all of the vendors, you’ll find Dona Fabiolita, who keeps the tradition of Tripa Mishqui, behind a flaming grill and an expectating queue of regular clients, gastronomic adventurers, and those who eat guts because of their“healing” properties for gastritis (the fact is that they do not really cure but create a layer of fat on the stomach walls so that it relieves the pain for some hours)
Doña Fabiolita Stall, the oldest selling Tripa
Fabiola Yugcha has been working for over 30 years and she wakes up, day by day, with the same positive attitude to serve her costumers. She is one of the few who keeps traditional Ecuadorian food alive.
Fabiola and her sisters continued the legacy of their mother, who made cooking her way of living 50 years ago. Now, all sisters have their own food stall at Las Vicentinas, however, they decided not to sell the same dishes to avoid rivalry between them. It is easy to identify Fabiola’s stall… it is the busiest one. Dozens of students, workers, common people and tourists, clump together in front of her stall to enjoy this delicacy, with all the chewing skills needed to eat this dish.
Preparation for this dish requires loads of work. Although there is Tripa Mishqui available from 4:00 pm, Fabiola has to start at 7:00 am to do all sauces, cuts, marinating guts and some other preparations before heading to La Floresta roundabout to get ready for the service. Despite she´s a busy woman, she told us her secrets for a nice Tripa: keep the tripe on a garlic, onion, achiote, salt and pepper marinate for some hours and great skills to deal with a full flaming grill, which only few as she, master to perfection…The result?, a soft, juicy and well done Tripa Mishqui.
Read more about Tripa Mishqui at Wikipedia