Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We did it... Guinea Pig dinner

Well, we finally did it... we ate cuy.  Cuy is a traditional dish in Peru.  A cuy is a guinea pig.  

Okay - don't go crazy and act like I just ate the family cat!  I raised guinea pigs when I was growing up... they were cute little long-haired guinea pigs.  I have very fond memories of going out the back door and hearing them squeal their cute little high-pitched squeals because they knew I was coming out to see them.  I remember "Pearl" and "Digby" and "Santa" and "King"...

It's not like that here.  People raise cuy with the same passion that we raise cattle in Texas.  It is very common to go to someone's home and be shown their cuy pens.  With great pride they will show you how fat they are, how prolific they are, and how many they are raising.  It is not unusual for someone to have a special room or place in their home (usually in or very near the kitchen) where they tend their cuy.  

So for Father's Day, we went out to eat a special Father's Day lunch of cuy.  We have the Mitchells (from Texas) and the Goshorn family (from Kentucky) here visiting and working with us for awhile, and all wanted to try the traditional cuy before they leave Peru... "you just can't go to Peru and not at least try cuy!".

Bottom line -- It was really good.  And, no joke, it tastes like chicken.  I know - they say that about everything that is "weird" to eat.  But it's true.  It tastes like dark meat chicken.  The skin is pretty greasy and I peeled that away, but the meat was very good.  Several of us had "Cuy Colorado" which is cuy cooked/baked in a spicy sauce.  A couple of us had fried cuy.  It was all good.

So, there you have it.  We did it.  It didn't kill us.  We'll do it again sometime, without hesitation.  I just can't eat it while thinking about my cute little friends in the backyard...

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