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The food in Esmeraldas province is distinct. Making ample use of the fresh seafood and other local ingredients, including coconuts, it is more like Caribbean cuisine than typical Ecuadorean fare. Local dishes include encocado (seafood in a slightly spiced coconut-milk broth), empanadas de verde (fried stuffed patties made with a plantain crust), and tapao (a fish and plantain stew).

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