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Eating at Flor de Recuerdo restaurant on Isabela is a delicious culinary experience, and a glimpse into how agriculture works on the Galapagos Islands. We went there after a long hike to Sierra Negra Volcano as part of a Galapagos tour with Red Mangrove Lodges. Our tour company gave us sandwiches during the hike, but nevertheless I was gnawing at my fingernails as we drove to the restaurant.

What to eat

Flor de Recuerdo  is famous among visitors and locals alike for its oven made out of volcanic lava rocks. Order chicken baked in this oven, and you can literally taste the volcanic origins of the Galapagos Islands. Other options include delicious soups, salads, fresh juices, fried yucca balls, and other Ecuadorian specialties.

Some of the surprises – soup here is eaten with crunchy popcorn known as canguil. After I got used to it, I like it better than soup with saltine crackers.

Pureed squash soup with popcorn garnish

Pureed squash soup with popcorn garnish

Galapagos chicken

The main course (clockwise): lava-oven-roasted chicken, fresh salad, fried yucca, potatoes au gratin, and beans

 The farm and restaurant

The farm is run by a local Galapageño Marcelo and his wife Delia Cartagena.  If you ask Marcelo about the farm, and he will proudly show you where he grows the organic vegetables that went into your meal. He grows papaya, yucca, limes, oranges, and melons. He raises the chickens that he serves in the restaurant. The dining area is rustic, with hammocks on the lawn, a net for Ecuavoley (Ecuador’s version of volleyball), and chickens running free.

Chickens in the Galapagos -It doesn't get any more "free range"

Chickens in the Galapagos -It doesn’t get any more “free range”

Why farms are important for Galapagos conservation

Farming is probably the last thing to come to mind when you think of the Galapagos. You might wonder why such unique land would be cleared and used for something as common as farming. I believe the Galapagos Conservancy explains it best, below:

Agriculture represents a very small part of the economy, but more activity in this sector is critical to lessen the islands’ dependence on imported produce—one of the greatest sources of introduced species.

If you are going to Isabela, I highly recommend a trip to Flor de Recuerdo with Red Mangrove tours. The food was delicious, and I was pleased we could support the Galapagos local economy and learn about agriculture on the islands.

Where is your favorite place to eat in the Galapagos? Let us know in comments!

Papaya tree, later to be served as delicious fruit salad

Papaya tree, later to be served as delicious fruit salad

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