Cuy is a specialty of Peru and if you are in Arequipa, Lima or Cusco, you will see it served in several ways. The “guinea pig” is a guinea pig and is certainly not a typical dish in the rest of the world, but it is a delicacy in Peru and a traditional dish for about 5,000 years.
It is often cooked whole and served with the head, teeth and ears intact. Then you need courage and impatience!
‘Cuy chactado’ is the traditional Arequipa dish – fried guinea pig, but there is also the roasted version “the oven”, also very popular, especially in the Cusco region. It is a Peruvian delicacy and the taste is a cross between the rabbit and the guinea fowl, or if it is fried it resembles the pig. They are small animals and have yes and not enough meat for one person. It is usually served with potatoes or corn, which are your favorite foods.
The restaurants that serve this Andean delicacy are very numerous. Some specialize in this dish and are called ‘cuyeria’. So, if you see a guinea pig in Peru, it is almost certainly not a pet but family food. There is also a special day dedicated to this tasty animal: National Guinea Pig Day is celebrated on the second Friday of October.
Of course, guinea pig meat is not for everyone, but if you are brave enough to try it, you will be in excellent company because in Peru about 65 million guinea pigs are eaten every year.