Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All Hail The Guinea Pig

Ready for the barbecue...

Yeah, it's a rodent. But it's a tasty rodent.

Peru loves guinea pigs so much, Peruvians are now holding an annual celebration in honour of the little 'cuy'. The festival is into its second year, and brass bands took to the streets of the highland town of Churin, last Sunday, to celebrate the furry little meat ball.

But yeah, behind all the, ahhh, pagentry, this is a food festival. And the figure of celebration also happens to be the main course.

From Associated Press :

"Zero cholesterol! Protein for anemia!" Teresa Figeroa shouted from under her woven, flower-lined hat.

For 20 soles ($7), she sold plates of guinea pig fried, grilled, baked - even cuy au vin - with generous helpings of Andean potatoes and large Peruvian corn called choclo.

Foreigners may cringe at seeing the critters served for lunch, looking much like they did in life, face down on a bed of greens. But people came from across Peru to savor the meat and to compete in a cuy cookoff.

There was also a competition for the biggest guinea pig; the winner weighed in at almost 8 pounds of flesh, fat and fur.

That's one big rodent.

Barbecued guinea pig is very good with chili peppers. Apparently.

It's not the cooking of a cute little guinea pig, or the eating of its meat, that makes me shudder. It's the crunching of all those little bones. Brrr...

Optimistic : When Peruvians Tried To Market Guinea Pigs To The American Food Market

It's Not All About The Guinea Pig, Peru Is A Land Of Culinary Riches

An Excellent Selection Of Peruvian Recipes - Cuy Free

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