All visitors to Ibarra should try the wonderfully smooth and flavoursome helados de paila, a sorbet prepared in great copper pans (pailas) kept cool on a bed of straw and salted ice, into which fruit, sugar and water are stirred – found at a number of excellent heladerías throughout town. Other local specialities are sold at the stalls around the Parque La Merced, namely nogadas – nougat-style treats made from sugar, milk, egg whites and walnuts, sometimes flavoured with cinnamon, aniseed or vanilla – and arrope de mora, a sticky blackberry syrup, usually diluted with water or spirits.

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