Cuenca is the first Latin American city named to the international Culinary Capitals Network

Feb 29, 2024 | 0 comments

The World Food Travel Association, an organization promoting culinary tourism, has added Cuenca to its Culinary Capitals network. Cuenca is the first city in Latin America named to the network.

Mote Pillo is Cuenca specialty.

Ecuadorians recognize Cuenca as the food capital of Ecuador. And while the entire country has great food, if travelers want the best of the best, they need to head to Cuenca. One incredibly tasty and typical local dish that many travelers rave about is mote pillo, a mixture of hominy, scrambled eggs and seasonings to taste – every family has their own recipe. The entire area in and around Cuenca has a rich gastronomy history dating back 400 years. Thankfully, most of the area’s gastronomic history has already been documented in reference books and cookbooks.

“Cuenca’s diverse gastronomy is the reflection of its cultural fusion that has been preserved within the city for more than 400 years. This quality helped our area to become the first Culinary Capital in Latin America. For us this is a great opportunity to make Cuenca known to the world, through our culinary culture. We invite visitors to immerse themselves in the flavors of Cuenca,” said Lorena Aristizábal, Managing Director of the Cuenca Fundación Municipal Turismo.

The WFTA’s Executive Director and Founder Erik Wolf added, “Ecuador is a hidden gem for food lovers. We are delighted to be working with the charming town of Cuenca and its environs to make more travelers aware of its remarkable cuisine.”

Culinary Capitals is a certification program that facilitates the discovery and appreciation of unique culinary cultures by travelers, especially in smaller or lesser-known destinations. Popular cities like San Francisco, Hong Kong and Paris do not need marketing help. However, smaller or lesser-known destinations need every advantage, which is what Culinary Capitals provides. The program puts these hidden gems on the map for consumers who travel for unique and memorable gastronomy experiences. Cuenca joins two other Culinary Capitals, Bonaire and Grenada, both in the Caribbean, with a fourth destination in Chile scheduled to join the network shortly.

Travelers can explore the Culinary Capitals here.

The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) is a global, non-profit, non-political organization whose mission is to work with destination marketers and their stakeholders to facilitate the discovery and appreciation of unique culinary cultures by travelers.

Founded in 2003, the WFTA is the world’s leading authority on gastronomy tourism and the global voice of the industry. Every year, the WFTA provides insights, resources, tools, research, and events to a network of 150,000 professionals in over 150 countries to help the industry grow. The Association’s knowledge, tools, and training assist professionals, organizations, and destinations in leveraging their culinary culture and heritage to create a stronger sense of place, which increases visitor arrivals, strengthens a destination’s brand equity, boosts local pride, generates export demand for the area’s food and beverage products, and makes a significant local economic impact.

Credit: Culinary Capitals


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