Would you eat Cuy (AKA Guinea Pig)???

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by vic cardenas, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I'm just curious what the general consensus would be about eating Cuy... AKA guinea pig?

    Would you eat it? If not, Why Not? Give me a good reason. 

    To describe it's flavor and texture... it's kind of like eating Rabbit, or dark meat on Chicken. 

     It seems to me that with current food trends, "gringos" are becoming more tolerant of exotic foods that they may have not considered trying 5 years ago. I'm guessing this is due to popularity of Anthony Bourdain's shows and to a lesser extent Andrew Zimmern's show. I see certain foods that seemed to be "taboo" a few years ago all of a sudden become accepted. For example, Peruvian Anticuchos... (Beef Heart marinated in Aji Panca, Garlic, Cumin, Red Wine Vinegar, served on skewers and grilled lightly over charcoal) has become something I can serve to most open minded people and they LOVE it. Of course, Ceviche is another good example of this recent open mindedness too. 

    When I had my Peruvian food truck, I would have all kinds of "gringos" coming up and asking if I had Anticuchos. Surprisingly, they were serious and really wanted it and were disappointed that I didn't have it. I would also have some come up and ask me about Cuy, but I got the impression that most were joking around about the Cuy and didn't expect me to really have it. But, I can see the curiosity is there. 

    The reason I'm asking is because I was having a semi-light hearted discussion in my current kitchen with some fellow cooks. I was saying that I was thinking about buying a few Cuys and start breeding them and keep them in a pen in my backyard. Make a little "Cuy Farm" and have them for dinner every once in a while. To them, the cooks I was having a discussion with, they all were very curious about the flavor. It didn't irk a single one of them. They all would consider eating one. I think this encouraged me a little more to actually go through with my "Cuy Farm" idea. 

    Just a little background on me. I am a "gringo" in every sense. I have a hispanic name and ancestry but I am very far removed from that culture, and I'm white as a ghost. I have been married to a peruvian girl for 7 years now. All we do is cook Peruvian food. It's my passion. She is from Lima. Cuy isn't a really popular item in Lima, it's more of a delicacy in Lima and is more commonly eaten by indigenous folk in the mountains and jungle areas, and around Arequipa (Peru's second largest city). One of my wife's aunts has a "Cuy Farm" in a little 10x10' courtyard where she also keeps chickens and dogs (no, they don't eat the dogs and the dogs don't eat the chickens or cuys). My wife has only eaten Cuy a handful of times in her life and I've only had it twice. But, I'd equate it to eating Rabbit. It's good! I even had a guinea pig for a pet as a child. The first time I ate "cuy", I didn't have any remorse or even think of my long dead pet guinea pig "Carrots" sitting on the plate in front of me. 

    Well, I went off on a rant there, but what do you think? Would you eat it? If no, why not?   
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    Sure, why not. 
     
  3. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Yup... in fact I have.  

    It was a bit over cooked but was still pretty darn tasty.
     
  4. missyd

    missyd

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    Don't think I could do it - my kids have had one for a pet for the past few years.  Too cute for eating, however, he is quite a chubby thing and might make a good meal for someone - just not myself.
     
  5. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I wouldn't...   And i've eaten quite a few unusual foods in my time.  The problem (for me) is that I see them as more rat-like rather than bunny-like!
     
  6. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    I have a couple of friends from Ecuador and they say it's their favorite meat when roasted over a fire.

    If the taste of Cuy can top a thick, juicy slab of cow then I want it in my mouth.

    Sign me up!
     
  7. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    In a survival situation I would but for eating everyday I would not. Too much mental conditioning to eat it. 
     
  8. jaycobb1045

    jaycobb1045

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    I am a first generation American-born child of two Ecuadorian parents. I have had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in Ecuador throughout my life, but have never eaten Cuy!

    Part of the reason is that my family doesn't eat it, but I'm determined to seek it out next time I'm there. One thing Ill admit makes it a little less appetizing, at least to western eyes, is that the product is typically served whole, with the head on. The "rat like" appearance one poster alluded to earlier is almost comically accentuated by the spit-roasting process and can be a little off putting.

    I say that to say this - I think pulling and/or shredding the meat may be a better way to introduce cuy to a "gringo" palate. No actually sure if you we're considering the product for your food truck, but there's my two cents!
     
  9. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Only if I didn't know what it was, or if someone were spoon feeding me.
     
  10. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    I'd definitely try it for free, if someone said "here, taste this and tell me what you think". I wouldn't, however, choose it out of a menu.
     
  11. ibeacco

    ibeacco

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    I would most definitely become a cut farm customer if I could! I've eaten cut twice only but they were outstanding even if once was smuggled from ecuador!
    There is a place in Brooklyn that serve that only "upon request" and informally, if you know what I mean, bt yeah, mos def two thumbs up!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  12. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I'm loving all the detailed responses. Keep 'em coming! 
    I would say that it could never top a good ribeye or filet mignon but that's IMHO. But, you should try it anyway for s**** and giggles.
    I'm not considering the dish on my food truck. Actually, I'm selling my food truck. (Well, I've never listed it for sale but I have people coming to see it all the time.)

    One joke I would make when people would ask me about Cuy on the food truck. I'd say "Well, Petsmart sells them for $30 a pop. I'd have to charge like $40 or $50 to make any money off that dish." I got a few people in stitches over that line. 
     
  13. kccjer

    kccjer

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    I would love to try it.  I would also like to try llama, horse, etc.  Don't know if I would continue eating it....but I would definitely try it.  While living in Europe with the military, half the fun was trying new things.  Didn't like a lot them, but a lot was good too.
     
  14. wurzel

    wurzel

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    Without a moments hesitation. In my opinion meat is meat and they're all worth a try. I keep eyeing up my next door neighbour's rabbits... what I'd do to get those 2 fat little buggers in my pot.