Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This gets its own special post.
I've been dying to try Cuy (guinea pig) since before I even ever expected to come to Ecuador. My grandparents traveled here when I was a kid, and I remember being fascinated by the wierdness of the story of them eating guinea pig-that animal that my mom once had for a pet, named Beatrice...
Well, being one drawn to culinary oddities, and traditional culture, I let my host family know on the first night in Cuenca that Cuy was on my to-eat list. And let me say now, for all of you to hear; do not be afraid, for you will be missing out; CUY is absolutley delicious, I don't care who you are or if you have to close your eyes to eat it. Crispy, moist, salty and rich, Cuy is just all around deliciouse, and the experience uniquely amazing. AMAZING

Cuy takes about an hour or so to roast over charcoal to get the nice crispyness of the skin, so you have to order it ahead of time.

Therefore, Cuy dinner is kind of a big deal - or at least an excuse to get the family together, and the meal is started with a round of Canelazcos (aguardiente sugarcane alchohol mixed with sweetened hot tea).

Then comes the CUY. The skin is roasted crispy brown, and crunches like a potato chip. Salty, fatty, rich and slightly sweet, Cuy meat is absolutley delicious. A 1/4 Cuy is a decent portion, and a 1/2 deffinitly does the trick. It is served along sides of Mote (the reydrated mature corn kernels) and boiled potatoes.

You eat everything. The skin, the meat from the bones, the organs, the brain... Admit it, you like it.

The aftermath, paws and all.

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