PERUVIAN DELICACY:GUINEA PIG

I know you must be asking yourself  that “how can you eat such a cute creature like a guinea pig?” I asked myself the same question over an over.

Despite my hesitations, I tried it anyway. I love trying new things once in a lifetime, and this was one of them. I went to one of the local restaurants near Pisaq town in the Cusco region. Ordering the dish was easy because the restaurant specializes in Guinea pig dishes. The meal served with stuffed green pepper, boiled sliced potatoes, and pasta with tomato sauce. I was told to use my both hands when I eat because locals believe that the guinea pig will be tastier when you use your hands. When the dish arrived, I sifted through it and questioned my behavior once more and closed my eyes and took a bite. It was a taste I was never familiar with – didn’t taste like chicken or fish even though that was my expectation. It had dark juicy meat, but the taste is entirely different so you should try it yourself. It didn’t taste like anything I ate something before. I still remember the smell of the guinea pig how cannot I.

Guinea pig dishes are a traditional meal in Peru and are the priciest meals than the rest at the restaurants. They often cooked as a whole with the head, teeth, ears, and the other parts left intact. It usually served fried or roasted along with some vegetables, potatoes, and pasta or rice. People of Peru typically eat them on special occasions like birthdays, weddings, religious ceremonies. It is not an everyday meal. I learned that the Guinea pig has no cholesterol compared with other meats, so doctors in Peru highly recommend them.

I thought the main reason why Peruvians eat guinea pig was related to their religion. Because there is a well-known painting hangs in the famous cathedral in the center of Cusco, the replica of  Da Vinci’s painting call “The Last Supper,” and in that painting, Christ and the 12 disciples are seated around a platter of guinea pig. Then  I learned that the tradition had been there long before Spanish arrived. Since the Spaniard are the ones, who spread the Catholic religion in Peru. Even according to some locals, long time ago the Incas used to sacrifice guinea pigs and llamas in the central plaza of Cusco in each year of July so the Sun God would not harm their food resources. After the Spaniards came to Peru, they saw the guinea pigs as pets, not as food. Whenever they traveled to Spain, they took a few with them to their loved ones as gifts. 

These are some highlights for Peruvian delicacy so don’t hesitate to try some when you visit Peru as I did. Don’t forget traveling is all about the experience.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Juli | 5th Aug 18

    That is a nice roast they had there though.

  2. Evelyn Hernandez | 6th Aug 18

    Would love to visit Peru in the near future.

  3. wajiha | 6th Aug 18

    ammmm the pictures look tempting but religiously sadly ill have to pass on this one

  4. Indu | 6th Aug 18

    I came across plenty of roasted guinea pig sights while my tour in Peru.

  5. Chai | 6th Aug 18

    it’s like this post heard what we are watching yesterday. guinea pig in peru. im not sure if i will try it.

  6. Backpacking Series | 6th Aug 18

    Its amazing to try delicacies when one travels and sometimes that requires an extra dose of enthusiasm too! We would give it a shot when visiting Peru!

  7. Ellen | 7th Aug 18

    Is roasted guinea pig and roasted pig the same? I’ve ate roasted pig before and they’re delicious.

  8. Maysz | 7th Aug 18

    I love GUINEA PIGS! I can’t really do to eat them so sorry 🙁 this is strange from me!

  9. Bunmies healthy choices | 7th Aug 18

    Nice post and blog. I’ll love to visit Peru someday. I just can’t eat pigs when I remember how dirty they can be. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Europe finance blog | 7th Aug 18

    Hmmm. So good a treat-very inviting

  11. Summer Mitch Ryan | 7th Aug 18

    What?! No, I wouldn’t and couldn’t even try to imagine it.

  12. Fibi Drese | 7th Aug 18

    This looks yummy. Would like to visit Peru one day!

  13. Vy Nguyen | 7th Aug 18

    thanks for sharing! i’ve never known that the eating custom is related to religion.

  14. Sayanti | 8th Aug 18

    Would love to visit Peru someday but I won’t be eating pigs for sure. Thanks for sharing

  15. aisasami | 8th Aug 18

    Wow! I never knew you could eat guinea pigs. I have to try it if I ever go to Peru.

  16. Vaishali | 8th Aug 18

    Hmm…not sure how I feel about this. Respecting local traditions!

  17. Ishani Nath | 8th Aug 18

    I never knew so much information about Guinea pigs and that it could be eaten. Would like to try when I am in Peru.

  18. Pavan K | 11th Aug 18

    Thank you for the post. You gave a lot of information on Guinea pigs that I never knew about! ~

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