La Bella Crucita – Thursday, 01/10/2019

“Cloudy day today Nilla.”

“It sure is.”

“We need to stop by Fremas and pick up groceries.”

“I wonder if they have celery? I think I saw some in the refrigerator there.”

“Why, what are you ‘cooking up’ today.”

“It’s a tuna fish and macaroni with onion and celery day – that is if Fremas has some.”

“You could add some peppers and maybe cucumber – we have those already.”

“That’s a thought Jackson. You know that Manta is the tuna fish capital of the world.”

“Yes, Nilla, self proclaimed.  In reality, Ecuador has the largest tuna catch in the eastern Pacific, and ranks sixth for the number of tuna captures in all oceans.”

“What about sushi?”

“As the boats come in to Manta’s large fishing terminal, exporters are poised to purchase tuna for shipment to Tokyo or Miami for sushi.  Ecuador is amongst the top three worldwide exporters of prepared or preserved tuna with only 10% remaining in the domestic market.”

“I’m using canned tuna.  What about that Jackson?”

“Tuna canning plants are located in three provinces on the coast – Guayas, Manabi and Santa Elena.  Production capacity is approximately 500,000 tons of raw tuna.  A national control plan is in place that establishes, monitors, controls, maintains the standard for the processing industry.  Monitoring and compliance begins with the seagoing boats and continues to the market shelf – from boat to consumer – and traceability all along the way.”

“What about over fishing – you hear so much about that in New England?”

“Good question Nilla. “Tuna fishing is managed under the country’s sustainability parameters.”

“There are many health benefits of tuna Jackson – fatty acids, omega 3, quality proteins, selenium and vitamin D to name a few.”

“Of course the discarded parts of the tuna are used in other ways as well.”

“We need to get going to Fremas if we’re going to make it before it closes at 1:00.  Let’s take a trimoto and avoid the mud.”

“That’s really the only downside of being here in January and February – the rain isn’t the problem – it’s the mud. Dirty cars, dirty buses, dirty sandals, and dirty floors!”

“No celery Jackson, guess I’ll use green peppers instead.”

“The Ts are going to the beach, lunch should be ready by the time they return.”

Short walk on the beach. Someone seemingly lost their produce along the beach – peppers, carrots and some fruit.  There is a dead blow fish and a dead sandpiper but no treasures.

“Looks good Nilla – and tastes good too.”

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“No word from the Aventurero, probably off wondering.  The road should be dry enough for a run up to the bakery about 5:30.

“Oh look Nilla, look who’s walking by – the Aventurero!”

“Bakery time it is.”

“I can smell the bread from here and we haven’t even gone ’round the corner!”

“Seems like he bakes different types of bread on different days Jackson.”

“Maybe so he doesn’t get bored and his customers don’t get tired of the same type of bread.”

Off to Ramblas for dinner.

“Jeff is back – he had a great time visiting his family in the Oriente.”

“What’s this – some kind of fruit.”

“Tastes like a sweet pumpkin. I bet it would taste great in soup.”

“Nilla, you’re always looking at recipes for something.  The kitty cat is back.”

“I think she owns the place, you know what they say – ‘Dogs have owners, cats have staff’ and in this case a restaurante.”

“It’s getting late and if we plan to go to Portoviejo tomorrow we need to get some rest.”

“Maybe we should stay behind and study up on the Galapagos.”

“That’s a possibility, I think the Ts have come up with a tentative plan for the excursion.  The Aventurero has left the arrangements up to them.”

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