Colada Morada and Guaguas de Pan

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Colada morada and guaguas de pan are the heart of Ecuadorian All Soul’s Day, embodying two of the country’s most distinct culinary traditions. These delicacies are celebrated with great reverence at Casa Gangotena, where the traditions of Quito and Ecuador are deeply honored.

On November 2, during Día de los Difuntos (All Souls’ Day), a national holiday in Ecuador, families and large groups of extended families journey to cemeteries across the nation. They bring flowers and food to adorn the graves of their loved ones, spending time sharing the deceased’s favorite dishes and always leaving a plate for the dead ancestor to enjoy. In Quito, the Cementerio de San Diego, located to the southwest of the Old Town and just west of the Panecillo hill, stands out as one of the best places to observe this heartfelt tradition.

At this time of year in the Andes, a wild berry called mortiño (Vaccinium floribundum or Andean blueberry) comes into fruit in the highland páramos. People make the most of this succulent, dark berry to make a very special drink, only prepared at this time: colada morada and guagua de pan. It’s a tasty, slightly spicy, thick, hot beverage, cooked with mortiño, strawberries, black corn flour, small pieces of pineapple and babaco (Andean papaya), herbs and spices such as ishpingo (Ocotea quixos).

Four new guaguas de pan for 2019
Diablo Huma, Negrita Marimbera, Chulla Quiteño, Rubia Gangotena

Why should you visit Quito’s Old Town?

This is one of South America’s most well-preserved historic districts and the first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy its ornate churches, buzzing plazas, and cobblestone streets lined with flower-filled balconies against the backdrop of the surrounding Andes Mountains. If you’re looking for where to stay in Quito, many structures have been refurbished, restored, or remodeled and transformed into boutique hotels in Quito. In fact, Casa Gangotena, the only one endorsed by Relais & Châteaux, has been named the best downtown hotel in Quito thanks to its unbeatable location and excellent service. Take a look at our rooms and suites!

2019: Colada Morada and Guaguas de Pan

This year the featured guaguas are: Diablo Huma, representing the mountain regions, filled with delicious mashua; Negrita Marimbera, direct from Esmeraldas, filled with moist apple jam; Quito’s own Chulla Quiteño, filled with fig jelly, and Rubia Gangotena, filled with guava jam, just as tradition would have it.

Taste them all and relive the tradition in Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant!

Colada Morada is a delicious drink, traditionally accompanied by guaguas de pan (literally ‘bread or dough babies’ – see above): bread baked in the shape of a doll and decorated with icing and colourful toppings, and sometimes filled with marmalade or dulce de leche. Guagua [prounounced wa-wa] is the onomatopoeic Kichwa word for child.

The drink and the bread are full of symbolism: the colada symbolizes the blood of the dead in the minds of the people, and guaguas represent the body.

Casa Gangotena celebrates the tradition with respect and attention to detail, serving the symbolic bread and warming drink every afternoon until November 15th on the elegant covered patio. It is a custom that delights children and adults alike, and one that helps forge a connection between the past and the present.

We invite you to come to Casa Gangotena to try these traditional treats for yourself!

colada morada and guaguas de pan
colada morada and guaguas de pan

Served from 12 to 3 pm and 6 to 10.30 pm, every day

Travelers exploring the unique landscape near Finch Bay, showcasing the luxury experiences offered by the Gangotena Boutique Hotel network in the golden triangle.
Our Premier Ecuador Experience: The Golden Triangle
A Complete Experience that brings you the very best of Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands. With a stint in the Heart of Quito, The Mashpi Reserve, and a stay at The Galapagos Islands most lauded Hotel, Finch Bay.


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