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If you find yourself in Ecuador or Peru, try the Guinea Pig

christina z Dec 15, 1998 02:13 PM

I tried it a couple of weeks ago in Cuzco, Peru. They
were serving it in Ecuador when I was there last year
but I wasn't as brave then. It has a taste all its
own. No, not at all like chicken. A little
chewy, a little gamey. Try it if you have the chance
and let me know what you think.

  1. r
    rk4me Apr 27, 2007 04:27 PM

    Tried it when I was in Ecuador in 2006 .... it was roasted over an open flame and supposedly, this was one of the better restaurants for cuy. Sorry, can't remember the name; actually I saw Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre or Weird Foods) on his Travel Channel program and he was eating at that same place.

    By me, it was just okay ..... I don't know that I'd rave about it or feel the need to try again. However I got a kick out of people's responses, & look of horror when I got back home and told everyone about it!

    1. j
      Jonathan Gold Dec 16, 1998 12:45 PM

      Cuy is great, especially with that wildly
      fragrant black oregano they roast it with
      around Cuzco. (It's interesting to follow
      the track of cuy preparations on the altiplano:
      the closer you get to Bolivia, the more
      likely it is to be fried rather than roasted;
      the closer you get to Arequipa, the spicier it

      But it does look disconcertingly like a rat,
      neatly bisected lengthwise, on the plate.

      Didn't somebody just find a place on Long Island
      that serves cuy on weekends at $35 a pop?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Jonathan Gold
        christina z Dec 16, 1998 01:06 PM

        It wasn't all that cheap in Cuzco either (relative to
        other edibles). I don't know of anywhere on Long
        Island that serves Cuy but I'm pretty sure it can
        be had at some of the South American dining
        establishments in the Iron Bound section of Newark
        and perhaps under the Roosevelt Avenue El in Queens.
        Speaking of Peruvian delicacies, do you know where
        I can get some really outstanding Cerviche?



        1. re: christina z
          Barbara S Dec 16, 1998 07:58 PM

          Had it in Cuzco abut 2 years ago and liked it (not
          loved - it was a little dry). We were a party of four
          and had dinner at a little upstairs restaurant right on
          the square overlooking the cathedral. Call me
          chicken ('xcuse the pun!) but I have to admit to being
          a little hesitant to try it here, after all, it
          resembles NYC's "offical" mammal a little too closely
          for me. At least on the plate.

          1. re: Barbara S
            Alan Divack Dec 17, 1998 09:09 PM

            OVer the summer, we drove the lenght of Roosevelt Ave
            with some visiting cousins. (Was is Eric Asimov who
            called it the shortest land route across Latin
            America?) I remember seeing some Ecuadorian restaurants
            with signs "Especialidad en Cuy" (or something like
            that). they were between the BQE and Flushing Meadow,
            I think closer to the BQE -- maybe a mile or so East.

            I have never had cuy. We have had guinea pigs a pets
            and my kids would kill me.

        2. re: Jonathan Gold
          Mary Aug 4, 1999 04:22 PM

          Thank you Jonathan for identifying the black
          oregano--I also tried cuy in Cusco (after
          shying away from it in Ecuador the year before)
          and wondered what the black fragrant herb was.
          You're right, it's quite tasty... ours was
          served whole and perched on its hind legs a
          bit, its forepaws resting on a tomato (they
          then took and carved it... all a bit gimmicky,
          but effective). Someone told me they sometimes
          cook it at Coco Roco on 5th Ave in Brooklyn,
          but I don't remember seeing it there.

          1. re: Jonathan Gold
            Veronica Castro Apr 20, 2007 10:31 PM

            Cuy is not just great, it also has a lot of proteins, that´s why lot of people in Perú like to eat it.

            1. re: Veronica Castro
              Sam Fujisaka Apr 20, 2007 10:41 PM

              Eight years and a thread is re-connected. Forget about the cute little cuy. Try the big and delicious capybara/ronsoco or the smaller mahas! Smoked ronsoco from the market in Pucallpa!!! Bastante mejor que el jamon ahumado del Virginia.

            2. re: Jonathan Gold
              ofcslave Jun 15, 2007 07:54 PM

              Glad you know about black oregano. Any chance you know where I might buy some. It"s excellent on pork roast also.

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