The One Dish to Try in Peru Is...Guinea Pig

Cuy, one of Peru's most famous dishes, is not for the faint of heart; it's fried or roasted guinea pig, and it's a Peruvian delicacy.

 

#1 DON'T LEAVE PERU WITHOUT TRYING…

Cuy (pronounced "kwee"), which is…guinea pig. While it might seem unconventional to tuck into furry critters better known as domesticated pets in the West, this indigenous mammal has been a staple in Peru's Andean diet for around 5,000 years. (It even has its own national holiday on the second Friday of October.)

#2 HOW IT'S PREPARED

These rodents require little space and happily hoof up vegetable scraps, factors that make them ideal to farm. Gourmet cuy, however, are fed an exclusively alfalfa diet to ensure the meat is as tender as possible.

Two popular dishes are cuy chactado, a dish native to Arequipa which is squashed under stones then fried; and cuy al palo, where it's roasted over a spit. A wave of Lima's avant garde chefs are going gourmet with the ingredient, using cuy in Nikkei dishes instead of smoked fish, or smoothed out as terrine in tasting menus. There are also “cuyerías”, restaurants specializing in guinea-pig, found in the Arequipa and Cusco regions. As for the taste, it's sort of like a cross between rabbit and chicken.

#3 HOW TO EAT IT

With your hands. This is totally acceptable in any restaurant; in fact, confused looks will be cast in your direction should you try to eat it any other way. Keep a bundle of napkins on hand, as things can get a little messy.

#4 HOW TO ORDER

Ask for cuy chactado, the classic, deep-fried, flattened version. In the Andean region, it's accompanied by chunky corn on the cob, yellow potatoes, and a simple salsa criolla. In metropolitan restaurants, fries and an ají huacatay sauce are the norm.

#5 LOCAL TIPS

Do try just a bite. If you're visiting a friend's home or it's your birthday, cuy will likely make it to the table. Given that it's a delicacy and brought out on special occasions, it would be rude not to sample it.

Don't order a cuy to share—it's not large enough for two appetites.



VIA: Conde Nast Traveller

You are just a click away to start planning your trip to Peru,
we will make it easy breeze! CLICK HERE

 
Offset your carbon footprint while you travel
As part of our commitment to promote sustainable tourism, our clients have the chance to offset their   carbon footprint   while traveling.  We   donate   US$10   per   each   client we attend, the equivalent to 1   ton of carbon, to preserve natural reserves located in the Amazon rainforest.
  Check our trips: Peru Tourism | Destinations Tour Peru | Peru Tours | Fast Quotation  
Cruise Tour - Machu Picchu Tour - Machu Picchu & Titicaca Tour - Machu Picchu & Rainforest Tour
Machu Picchu & Nasca Tour - Inca Trail Tour - Amazon & Machu Picchu Tour - Peru & Bolivia Tour
  Peru Travel - Andes & Rainforest Tour  
  Please let us know your comments peru@perutourism.com
This site © updated 2014 is sponsored by Viajes Pentagrama S.A. All rights reserved.
Av. Larco 101, Suite 1301, Miraflores, Lima, Peru. Phone: (51 1) 241-4724
Fax: (51 1) 444-0015