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Peruvians enjoy eating guinea pig, which they call cuy

Updated on February 19, 2012
Two elegantly dressed Andean women proudly hold their Guinea pigs!
Two elegantly dressed Andean women proudly hold their Guinea pigs! | Source
A typical Guinea pig dish during the Guinea pig food festival in Huacho, Peru, Sunday, July 20, 2008.
A typical Guinea pig dish during the Guinea pig food festival in Huacho, Peru, Sunday, July 20, 2008.
Roasted guinea pig
Roasted guinea pig | Source

After watching the many videos about guinea pigs on Internet I have come to realize that people really like to keep them as pets! Guinea pigs have enjoyed popularity as they are very docile in nature and easy to feed and handle. Although I have never eaten any cuy, which is what they are called in my country, I would not mind trying some next time I go to Peru!

The cuy, or guinea pig, is a type of rodent that comes originally from the high Andean region. Despite their name, these animals are not pigs and they do not come from Guinea either! They are originally from the Andes, especially from countries like Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. These animals play an important role in the Andean folk culture and medicine and as a food too, as they constitute an important source of protein for indigenous people.

The word cuy does not come from the Spanish, but it is a quechua word. Cuy, cuy is the sound those rodents make.

Interesting reading!

This an article called Cuy (guinea pig) lover's page and it has many interesting pictures and links to adventurous activities! Big G\'s Place - Food

This is another interesting article that talks about how to eat a guinea pig and how to cook one, if you really must! Inspired by the memories of her childhood pets Fluffy and Mickey, Lynn Levin travels to Peru in the hope of eating a small furry dish so repellent that she can brag about it for the rest of her life! How to eat a guinea pig | More Intelligent Life

The title of the next article also has the funny title To Cuy Or Not to Cuy | she eats.

Last Supper, Peruvian style, with a guinea pig as main dish and chicha instead of wine
Last Supper, Peruvian style, with a guinea pig as main dish and chicha instead of wine

The Spanish version of "The Last Supper", painted Just For Peru!

By Marcos Zapata, showing Christ and The Apostles

having guinea-pig, with a glass of chicha!

Judas has the face of Francisco Pizarro, the Conquistador,

credited with the capture and murder of the Inca Emperor Atahualpa.

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    • itakins profile image

      itakins 

      6 years ago from Irl

      I couldn't imagine eating one of these cute little pets.We did have one die here a few years ago,and my four year old daughter felt moved to pray for him....so she said the grace before meals! Maybe she knew something about cuy:)

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      6 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      I lived in Lima for many years, but never once did I get the chance to eat cuy! That won't happen the next time I go, which of course I wish it was soon!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      Yes, we've had it several times! In the Andes culture, to refuse cuy is to refuse a delicacy and an insult to the host. It's actually delicious stuffed with aromatic herbs and roasted. Here in the South it's breaded with cornmeal and deep fried. Not bad, as long as I don't have to eat the head. : )

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