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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Gigantic Guinea Pig Debate: Christmas Present or Christmas Dinner?

It's that time of the year again where turkeys are being fattened up and parents everywhere are running around to pet stores everywhere seeing if perhaps a guinea pig would make a great Christmas gift.

But let's imagine a world where things are a little bit backwards (or maybe WE are the ones that are backwards for insisting on spending half our wages on an overpriced hormone induced Turkey just because its tradition) and where guinea pigs aren't so much the X-mas present as they are the X-mas dinner.

If you can imagine that world, you are more than halfway to being prepared to have Christmas dinner with a family from Peru, Ecuador, Bolivian or any of the Andean regions where Cuy has been enjoyed for thousands of years.

Kids from North America who play with kids from the Andes regions,  might end up having a row because one kids parents have taught them that guinea pigs are pets and the other kids parents have taught them that guinea pigs are an after school snack. 

While living in Buenos Aires, every single time I mentioned the word "Cuy" to a Peruvian their eyes would light up as the mere mention of this Andean delicacy must have brought back fond memories of juicy rodents being roasted on a stick.  When my Peruvian friends in Buenos Aires, heard that I was going to Peru, they made it very clear to me that I simply could not miss out the chance to shove fatty pieces of guinea pig meat down my throat.

So one fine day i took the plunge and found a restaurant that served this crispy critter. As for the outcome? Let's say that I joined the Cuy club that day and by the time I was done, a vulture could not have done a better job picking the bones cleaner than I did with that Cuy. To say that it tasted like chicken is abit of an understatement.

The Peruvian style fried version of this dish made the meat taste like a combination of chicken and with the greasyness of the chicken skin. If you can imagine a piece of meat with texture and taste that is a combination of chicken and the skin then that was my Cuy experience. Something this delicious makes me wonder why the Colonel didn't patent a Cuy recipe as part of KFCS menu. FINGER LICKIN GOOD

Regardless of whether you will be sitting around the table over roasted turkey or roasted guinea pig.....I wish you a happy holiday :)

 p.s.  Cuy has permeated the culture so much that it shows up in artwork. In a cathedral in Cusco there is actually a picture of Jesus Christ at the last supper with his 12 disciples dining on Cuy....

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Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas