Just when you are trying to decide whether to vacation in Waikiki or Peru, the news comes in that the national dish of Peru is the Guinea Pig, or cuy in Peruvian. This tie-breaker is a necessary bit of info for the intrepid traveler, as the Peruvians actually expect you to eat these cute, over-sized rats.
From The Honolulu Star Bulletin:
My culinary adventure may be inexcusable to some, but I was, after all, in the land of the Incas: Peru, where guinea pigs have been eaten for more than a thousand years and roast guinea pig is a national delicacy. Signs outside restaurants prominently display photos advertising the availability of roast "cuy" (pronounced coo-ee), the Latin American Spanish name for guinea pig.
I think the inexcusable part is right.
These little creatures--for which the Peruvian Guinea Pig farmer builds miniature apartment houses--are not only eaten in times of famine, but appear to be the first choice of most Peruvians. Rather unfortunate, there.
Peruvians eat about 65 million guinea pigs each year. The meat provides 20.5 percent protein compared to 14.5 percent for pork, 16.4 percent for mutton, and 17.5 percent for beef. Fat content also is low: 7 percent compared to 40 percent for pork and 31 percent for lamb." Oh. And how does it taste? Reportedly like rat.
"How did I like roast cuy? To be honest, it wasn't that great. The animal is served whole with head and legs attached. Its meat is stringy and tough, and there are lots of bones.I am glad I tried it, but it is an acquired taste. I would opt for an alpaca steak next time. I hope my friends forgive me.
Yummm. And your friends have moved on.
Now that is just wrong.
"Ahh, Senorita, do you serve fish?"
"No, Senor, but we have a wonderful rodent skewer."
In an attempt to provide more cuy meat for the export market, Peru's prestigious La Molina University has developed a larger "super breed" of guinea pig.
This must be some sort of Global Warming thing, where Al Gore (Pig Party, Tennessee) expects us to eat large rats while he gorges himself on the last of the beef and pork.
But I ain't buying it.
You could make these the size of a rabbit, and I still ain't buying it.
ALSO at DBKP.com: Peruvian Delicacy of Cuy: Dining on Roasted Guinea Pig
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* dave's travel corner