6 – Cuy
The good thing about this dish is, that a gringo wouldn’t understand its meaning in Spanish. The bad thing is, that you would eat an animal, which others would keep as a pet. But some people eat fishes as well and keep them at home in their aquariums. Would it be therefore questionable and a prick of conscience to do the same with a guinea pig? His unimaginative name has the Cuy from the squeaky sound it makes when they are scared.
Yes – These animals are a specialty in Peru. This is something weird because the Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped animals and often depicted the guinea pig in their art. Nowadays they are worshipped as a culinary highlight from the Andean kitchen. the animal is so entrenched in the culture that one famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco shows Christ and the 12 disciples dining a guinea pig. Weird!
Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year, which means for 32 million inhabitants at least two per capita. I had the opportunity to try it one time as well. Guinea pig meat is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol and tastes similar to a rabbit. Well, that’s another domestic animal, that you can eat. The plate was served with some boiled potatoes and vegetables. Quite ordinary. Really extraordinary was the fried guinea pig – When would you have the option to go and eat an animal like that?
Could you eat a guinea pig? Would you dare to eat a guinea pig? You can find the recipe here.