Weird Food: Eating Cuy (Guinea Pig) in Quito, Ecuador
On a Friday afternoon after Spanish class, Carrie and I paid $5 to take part in a tradition that is one of the 5 things you must do while in Ecuador.
These pictures are from the tradition of eating cuy, or guinea pig.
WARNING:This post contains some pretty graphic pictures of dead and cooking animals that still look like guinea pigs.
If you’re okay with that, continue on.
I’ve got a video of this experience as well, so be sure to check that out below. Before the video though, here are a few of the pictures from us cooking and eating cuy.
Contrary to the smile on my face, I’m mildly disgusted by this experience, but hey, I’ll only eat cuy once, and as long as I’m here for the experience, I may as well enjoy it, right?
Cuy for Carrie?
Carrie is pretty much vegetarian (whenever it’s an available option), so I was proud of her for trying a tiny piece of cuy, but I was a brave little toaster and tried more than that of it.
And how does cuy taste? A little like chicken, but more like a greasy and chewy meat…
The greasiness may have come from the oil marinade they used on them. Even taking that into account, cuy wasn’t my favorite meal.
Alex, who is from England and was sitting next to me, kept trying all the other stuff (by other stuff I mean brain, eye, and ear), and so I did as well…
It wasn’t about one-upmanship as much as the feeling of wanting to have the full cuy experience, so long as I was at it.
The indigenous people in Ecuador eat cuy more than the more Spanish influenced population…
But I think most people here eat cuy maybe once or twice a year… Something akin to eating the fruit cake (even if you don’t like it, because) someone made for you.
Some people really like cuy, and a few probably eat it because they can find it for free in the wild.
But it seems that most people just eat cuy because it’s what everyone does during certain times of the year or at certain holidays.
This is a meal and experience I am glad to have done once, and am not too likely to repeat…
(Random graffiti we coincidentally encountered about 2 hours after finishing our cuy)
Though the cuy wasn’t my favorite, I really enjoyed making this video (below) so I hope you enjoy watching it!
Would love any thoughts/feedback on my video or anything else about our cuy experience in Quito!
February 12th, 2010
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