Would You Eat Your Pet Guinea Pig?

If you know anything about Peruvian cuisine, you’ll know that guinea pig (called cuy; pronounced coo-ey) is considered a delicacy. Peruvians don’t eat it regularly, but consider it a rare treat. My wife and I saw it on many restaurant menus and we knew that no culinary adventure in Peru would be complete without feasting on one. It’s remarkable that we delayed this for a good while, especially after seeing these cute critters in a pen at a weaver’s co-op in Chinchero (see above). Time was running short when we got to Puno near Lake Titicaca. There it was on the menu of highly regarded Mojsa—Traditional Oven Baked Guinea Pig. We took the plunge. It was now or never.

As it turned out, it was very tasty. Did it taste like chicken? No, not really. It had a taste of its own. The batter made it very crispy, the meat was juicy, the fat plentiful and gelatinous. We were glad that it didn’t appear split in half with little paws and head still attached.