Cuy is guinea pig. Prior to traveling I did research about Ecuador, where I learned that they eat cuy. It’s also a traditional food of Peru. And that was my first time that I realized you could eat a guinea pig! They’ve always just been pets.
I found the above PetSmart ad on Thanksgiving Day last year and thought about it when I saw cuy being cooked with my own eyes for the first time in Cusco, Peru. They even stuck a tomato on the teeth!
We couldn’t leave South America without trying cuy in Peru or Ecuador so while in a restaurant in Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru, we had our chance.
I unfortunately wasn’t feeling well during our one night stay in the Colca Valley and the following day in Arequipa. But the next day and our last day in Arequipa, I felt a bit better. So I was able to go to the restaurant, but just eating a little from my mom, dad (the cuy) and brother’s plates.
Out of all the other orders, the cuy came last. And when it finally came, I was intrigued with the fact that the head and everything was intact. There was even some teeth! Yum?
Surprisingly, it didn’t taste that bad. It tasted like meat. Not really like chicken but not really like beef or pork either. It had a lot of fat.
Then we were in for a surprise when a group of people apparently from the cultural center went to the stage in the restaurant and started performing a traditional dance.
I had not seen or heard anything like that at all in my life. The men were wearing llama head hats (fake, I think) and the music was so high pitched. Very interesting…
The next morning we left Arequipa on the day that was the city’s anniversary. Due to not feeling well, I only took a few photos in the city. One was our hotel. I think it was once a really big house.
And here’s a Vine video as we drove out of Arequipa in the overland truck.
Have you tried cuy before? Leave a comment below!