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.
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?
re: Jonathan Gold
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?
re: christina z
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.
re: Barbara S
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.
re: Jonathan Gold
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.
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!