Cuy, a Delicious Plate (of fried Guinea Pig)

I just realized that I haven’t yet written an article about Cuy! When you travel to Peru (flights to Peru) there are about five or six things that you just HAVE to do.  You have to visit Machu Picchu, you have to check out Cusco, and you have to sample the delicious Peruvian delicacy…CUY!

When I was first introduced to Cuy, I was with a Peruvian family who started waxing so poetically about the mysterious dish (I had no idea that it was Guinea Pig at the time) that I immediately started to get suspicious.
“Cuy is delicious,” said one of the guys, “back in the old days if the king were to come to your house, you’d serve him Cuy and it’d be a noble dish…”
Seriously he went on like this for like twenty minutes and I started thinking “methinks the fellow doth protest too much.”  Well, it all came to a head when his young daughter, thinking she was helping, chirped in at the end of an especially long tirade exhorting the glory of Cuy and said happilly, “It’s NOT a rat!”
Um-hmmmm….  Now I understand.  Anything that’s NOT a rat, or must be designated as such is certainly something that I’m not apt to have on my menu.
However, being the adventurous idiot that I am, I ate the Cuy when it came to me and found the flavor to be…you guessed it…something like chicken (I asked them not to serve me the head…those little teeth poking out give me the creeps)!
But you should SEE Peruvians tear into a family of Cuy.  Seriously!  They eat the mamma Cuy, the papa Cuy, the baby brother Cuy, the baby sister Cuy…they eliminate an entire genetic pool in the course of a few minutes.  It’s kind of terrifying/amusing (not a good combo).
One of the other things they do is crack open the head and dig out the ear bones which they keep as luck charms.  No more needs be said on that (just imagine somebody munching on a Cuy head and crushing its skull….hmmmmmm).
Honestly, if you want to get Cuy you can sample it in a stew or something and it’s really quite good.  It’s only if it’s splayed out on your table like in the above picture that you get the sense of something creepy.  However, if you go to Peru with your wife and children (Lan Flights) just imagine how much fun you can have freaking them out by happily munching on a Cuy in front of them (especially if your sons or daughters have pet Guinea Pigs back at home…hahahaha!).

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  1. Svenyritch

    Why did I know there would be responses to Cuy? Even though I personally don't like it, I do understand that it is a traditional meal. I don't like greens or black eyed peas either but realize there is a lot of tradition behind them. Good post Ben. Keep up the good work.

  2. 09/28/2016

    Hey Eric,
    It's fair enough what you're saying, although I think it's pretty difficult to change tradition. There are plenty of traditions that I would change, but people react quite harshly when I point out how cruel they are. For example, the religion that insists on using an image of a man being tortured to death in the most horrible possible way really bothers me. Frankly, I don't think I should have to see that on every wall in every hotel and street corner. But some people think the image of Christ on the cross is sacred and completely overlook the fact that you're looking at an image of ritualistic torture.

    So good luck with your crusade, but remember you're going to get a lot of angry responses any time you try to change what people think (I get a LOT of them on this web page as you've probably noticed)!

  3. Eric

    Wow, that's some harsh criticism. Perhaps the posts should read "Assumptive said…". I'm a vegan, ya freaks. I made my comment because this is just plain sick, along with eating other animals. Seriously, not only does that picture make me want to vomit, but it's just a sad reminder of how much compassion this world is lacking.

    I don't mean to harsh the tone of your blog, Ben, but this post is just too wrong. It's time that people didn't let culture force them to do such horrid things. Humans need to recognize their place in this world, and start protecting the lives of other sentient beings rather than continuing to exploit them. It's nothing difficult, and would bring about a level of compassion never before seen. At least educate yourselves on where your food, clothing, and medicine comes from:

    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”- Mahatma Ghandi

  4. Anonymous

    I love cuy, but prefer it cooked in the dome shaped ovens in Peru, rather than fried. I first had it with a bunch of Peruvian fire fighters who all waiting anxiously for my reaction after my first bite. No problem. I have since shared cuy with my Peruvian friends on many special occasions and I have learned to cook it myself.

    Don't judge too harshly, this is no different than rabbit or chicken for that matter. If you eat the latter and still criticize the former, you're a hypocrite at least and probably just a close minded jerk. Bon apitite!

  5. Anonymous

    CUY is what people eat in Peru. It is a delicious dish and very traditional. This is not sick and don't be hypocrite!! Don't you eat chicken or pork? Do you eat the head? If you go to a five-fork restaurant in Peru you will find that the CUY is one of the best dishes in the menu. I have tried it in some different ways and it is just excellent.

    So you can say that people are sick because they eat cat or dog; that depends on their culture, so don't criticize what you have never tried or consider.

    Good post by the way. I am getting hungry.
    Hasta mostaza!

  6. Eric

    Fucking sick! Are you really supporting this?! It's also quite ignorant to say that as long as the head is missing you'll happily devour this poor animal. Good god man. Most of you're other posts are cool, though.

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