As a friend of ours recently commented, cuy must be some sort of running joke Peruvians play on tourists. Why would anyone want to eat guinea pig? Nonetheless, there are entire Peruvian towns dedicated to the cultivation and expert preparation of these furry critters. Clearly, this was something that could not go unsampled.
Part of the fun of being an active participant in the cuy industry is looking at the many interesting signs above local cuy joints. Take this variety for example:
Another typical example will advertise the cuy and include a picture like this:
However, the most common examples feature a photo of the cooked cuy prepared in the traditional fashion - something along these lines:
Alas, however, when I finally did place my cuy order, it showed up like this:
This particular cuy happened to be classed up a bit with some rosemary seasoning, and was then charcoal roasted while brushed with sort of a sweet and sour sauce, adding a nice crisp char to the surfaces. I am told there is only one way to eat cuy, and that is chicken wing style. No fork or knife required. Turns out it was good advice, as eating cuy is a pretty time consuming process.
So how does guinea pig taste? Ironically, a lot like pork. Actually, it's an incredibly tasty dish. The flavor sort of reminded me of the Asian style baby back pork ribs authored by my dad and savored by anyone who's attended one of our BC tailgates. Would I have it again? Without a doubt.
Up next: alpaca, chicharones, Inca Kola and a variety of tropical fruits