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Bolivian Faux Rabbit ( Conejo)


When I was travelling in Bolivia, many years ago, I was served (dare I say it )(vegetarians and children look away) Guinea Pig , which was called by the Quechua woman who served it to me, "Rabbit of the Andes" in Spanish. It tasted like( you guessed it, chicken, was very bony and quite tasty. I saw them butterflyed and roasted on sticks all over Bolivia too. Any chance that's what you had as faux rabbit? The little critters (guinea pigs, not rabbits) were running around underfoot, making that noise guinea pigs make, all over her house, which is common in Quechua and Ayamara households in Latin America. Really fun and amazing!!!!!

    1. Really? Wonder how the USDA feels about guinea pigs? Grass fed,local ones of course!

      1. ah, sorry, read too quickly (am multitasking). You CAN find guinea pig (cuy - pronounced kwee) in ecuadorian restaurants in this country, albeit of shady provence.

        but i think mine was from beef.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jim Leff

          weren't there a couple of places on broadway in yonkers that would serve it on sundays?

          1. re: Jim Leff

            More like "coo-e". Almost two syllables.

          2. I love you for knowing that!!!! The boyfriend I travelled with on that trip referred to me as " my little rabbit of the Andes " for the duration of our travels.

            1. I had Cuy in the Inca Sacred Valley (near Cuzco) about 1 year ago. I couldn't stomach the traditional... baked served whole... head, legs & all quite visible. But I did have it at a nice hotel restaurant (Sonesta Posada del Inka in Yucay)... they served the Legs in a Plum Sauce.... and it was quite tasty.

              It actually did remind me of rabbit. One thing to know about Cuy.... its one of the more expensive meats around Cuzco & Macchu Picchu... which made me wonder why they didn't just raise rabbits. I guess its hard to let go of traditions.

              My uncle raises rabbits for high end restaurants in Jalisco (Mexico)... and he is making a killing... very high margins.

              1. just a note: if you are in the cusco area, the place where the locals go to eat cuy on the weekends on the way back to their home pueblito is the village called tipon. cuy al horno entero will set you back about 16-20 soles or about 5-6 bucks.

                it is roasted in a wood burning oven. the cuy is stuffed whole with huacatay herbs. and there is the option to have a side of sausage stuffed with the viscera of the cuy with potatoes and herbs. this is called "tullan".

                the place i chose to eat at was called la escondida and the cuy was very good. it was served with roasted potatoes, tallarin and rocoto relleno. the cute cuy are running around in the back in the pen...

                the next village over called "saylla" is famous for chicharrones. so rock some fried swine on your way home too!

                note on huacatay from some website:

                Mint marigold (Tagetes minuta und Tagetes elliptica, Asteraceae) is an important herb in the Andine cuisines of Bolivia and PerĂº. In cookbooks, it is mostly named by its name in Quechua huacatay (Aymara wacataya). The herb has a remarkable, spicy-fresh flavour and should be used only in the fresh state, although a pesto-like concoction can be made from it that preserves much of the original taste.

                1 Reply
                1. Very cool pictures! BTW, of the three Chile, Peru, Bolivia which cuisine did you like better?

                  1. Falso conejo is one of my favorite things to eat. It is actually made with beef that has been breaded and pounded then fried and is served with a sauce of aji and onion and peas. Of course rice and potato. It is not guinea pig as one might guess by the name. Don't know where it gets its name but it sure is tasty.

                    1. One of the projects we're working on is small livestock (mongastrics) production for the poor in the Andean region. Cuys can be grown even in urban areas, require little space, have few health problems, can be raised in high densities, and can be a good source of additional household income.