In Europe, guinea pigs are considered as pets, but in Peru, they are farmed and then left with garlic and salt, crispy fried or skewered to a specialty for thousands of years. It is considered as the traditional and special dish of Peru. However, if you are an animal lover, you should not refer to the dish.
Cuy is crispy roasted guava or fried guava which is one of the best delicacies in Peru. Guinea pigs have originated from the Andes Mountains including Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru are raised for meat. Cuy became indigenous Peruvian dishes like Moche, Incas, and Quechua. Until the Spaniards arrived, guinea pigs were taken to Europe and change to pets.
In fact, guinea pigs are higher in protein and cholesterol than chicken, pigs or cows. Cusco also has a guinea-pig program for food for cancer patients, as their meat is healthier than other meats. Therefore, the meat is considered as the healthy foods for people. Furthermore, The Peruvian tusk even has its own national holiday, on the second Friday of October. It is the reason why tourists when visiting the country can not miss the special dish.
There are two most famous dishes are made from guinea pigs in Peru including cuy chactado and cuy al palo. Cuy chactado is a specialty of Arequipa with crispy fried meat and crispy fried, while cuy al palo is guinea pig rotting on charcoal stove. Peruvian people do not eat lunch on a regular day but they take this dish for important occasions such as festivals, birthdays, New Year, banquets. Therefore, if you are invited to Peru’s house and enjoy the dish, it means that you are an important person with their family. However, the dish is becoming more popular with tourists, so some Peru’s restaurants add the dish in their menu to serve their guests.
Raising guinea pigs requires only a small space and vegetables for food. However, the mice fed the food were only fed alfalfa (legume) to ensure meat toughness. The guinea pigs when processed into dishes will remain the same. After cleaning the hairs, removing the viscera, the mice are covered with garlic, chili and salt to increase the crispiness before cooking. Diners can enjoy the wash with two hands or use discus knife discretion. Hand-picked wines are acceptable in Peruvian restaurants. This dish is traditionally eaten with yellow potatoes, corn, and salsa Criolla, sometimes with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and onions.
Furthermore, when a Peruvian family treats you, you should remember that if you not to dare to eat you also have to try a little, because the people here treat cuy as delicious food only for guests.