We all know that guinea pigs are commonly kept as pets, but not in Peru! Instead, guinea pigs are referred to as Cuy. It is a dish that is well-liked among the locals. So what exactly is Cuy? How does it taste? How is it served? Let us learn more about this traditional Peruvian delicacy.
Cuy, as said before, is the name given to guinea pigs in Peru. However, you don’t have to frown upon it, because in some countries even dogs are eaten as meat. It all comes down to the long-standing practices and customs that a country has.
Since ancient times, the Inca people have domesticated guinea pigs so they can be eaten as food. This is because guinea pigs are easy to raise alongside other crops like potatoes and corn and don’t require a lot of space or care.
Cuy was typically served to the Inca nobility and royal family and was not consumed by the common people. Accordingly, the Incas utilized Cuy as a form of sacrifice and to foretell the future. This dish is so revered in Peru that a religious painting depicting Jesus and his apostles enjoying a magnificent guinea pig meal can be found in the Cathedral of Cusco. So trying this dish when you are in Peru is one of the highlights!
Cuy tastes great; even if you are first reluctant to try it. As soon as you do, you will be wanting more. Cuy meat tastes a lot like rabbit or wild bird meat. Depending on the region of Peru you are in, it can be cooked in a variety of ways. This includes fried, grilled, or roasted.
Guinea pigs are most frequently served fried, in a delicacy called “Cuy Chactado,” in Peru. To make it crunchy, the entire guinea pig is fried in vegetable oil in the oven before being served with potatoes, salad, and sauces.
You shouldn’t have any problems eating Cuy with your hands because that’s how the locals do it. It’s the traditional way to eat Cuy, so you can do it even in a restaurant. So, if you’re planning a trip to Peru, especially to Cusco or Arequipa, don’t miss out on this delicacy!