Heladeria San Agustin

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Quito, Ecuador

Heladeria San Agustin Quito Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
517 reviews
Traditional treats Oct 25, 2012
This is a long-established café in the old town with a somewhat European air. Its speciality, alongside a fairly regular food menu, is Helado de Paila. This is a particular sort of ice cream made in the north of Ecuador. It is made not through churning, as is usual, but instead prepared in a wide metal pan (a bit like a wok) which the ice cream maker spins on a bed of ice. The fruit juice, with I think just a little cream added, freezes in the pan through the contact with this ice. The result should be a thick creation somewhere between a sorbet and ice cream.

We came here specifically because I had read about, and wanted to try, Helado de Paila. The waiter helpfully brought us a plate of small taster spoonfuls so we could make our choice. These were mostly flavoured with various local fruits, many of them unknown to us on this, the first day of our trip. A bowl with two small scoops cost $2.00, so we decided to choose two flavours each. I was tempted by taxo, a type of passion-fruit, but in the end chose guanabana, which reminded me a little of lychees, and naranjilla, a green bitter orange that I found refreshing. Chris tried mora, the local blackberry-like fruit, and chocolate. He was disappointed with the latter, and indeed all of the flavours seemed a little watery, which made me wonder why Helado de Paila is so celebrated (and indeed why this establishment is so highly rated).

However the next day while out and about with our friends Betty and Marcello we stopped at a roadside heladeria in Nayon, where I had a much stronger flavoured and very refreshing cone of taxo flavoured Helado de Paila. So I don’t know if we had just caught this Heladeria on an off-day perhaps? In any case, it’s worth a visit for the atmosphere and for the opportunity to try Helado de Paila in a convenient Quito location.
In the Heladeria San Agustin
Helado de Paila
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