One of Peru’s most famous dishes is not exactly a conventional one – at least not by North American standards. Here, though, Cuy (guinea pig) has been a staple in the Andean diet for around 5,000 years. Long before they were considered cute fluffy pets, they were raised in the Andes for food.
While gourmet chefs have spruced up the original recipes and are now adding their own flare to the dish, Cuy is generally roasted whole, with the head, teeth, ears, and other parts left intact. They are doused in salt and garlic to crisp up the skin. You can find them being sold as “street meat” on sticks in areas surrounding the Sacred Valley, but many restaurants in Cusco and a few in Lima also serve the dish. For Peruvians, Cuy is a dish served on special occasions, not part of the everyday menu anymore. But with the influx of tourists over the last decade, many restaurants keep Cuy on the menu for those curious travellers to taste. It’s generally one of the most expensive items on the menu, costing anywhere from 40-70 soles ($15-28 USD).
I like trying local dishes while travelling, but this one was harder than most. Growing up, I had pet guinea pigs named Fuzz and Magic, and seeing the little face still intact on this Cuy dish definitely made me feel guilty for taking a bite. If you can get your head around it and forget what you are eating, the crispy skin tastes a lot like fried chicken.
I certainly won’t be making this dish a regular, but if you are in Peru, it’s definitely a must-try!
Categories: Blog, Photo, South America, Video, Where in the World
Tags: cuy, food travels, guinea pig, Lima, Peru, travel, travel addict
I am obsessed with sunsets and love to catch beautiful ones on my travels around the world. While any colourful sunset is beautiful, I especially love watching them set over the ocean, like this one in Negril, Jamaica!
Eight years ago, I was making my way up Mount Kilimanjaro. Our days started with a cup of chai tea and ended with group singing and dancing. It was a six day journey and one of the hardest things I have ever done. Long hot days of walking, cold nights in tents on rough ground, holes in the ground for washrooms and no showers. By the end, we were all physically and mentally exhausted. Beginning the last section of the climb at midnight felt almost impossible, but getting to the top, just as the sun was rising over the ‘rooftop of Africa’, is a memory I will never forget!
‘Travel is the best education you can give yourself.’
Growing up, I heard this a lot from my Grandmam, often as she was showing us photos and telling us all about her latest trip.
She saw the world and inspired me to do the same.
Grandma was teacher her whole life and knew the importance of education. However, she also knew that the world had so much more to offer than you could ever find within the four walls of a classroom.
Thank you for filling my veins with a thirst for travel and a need to always keep educating myself on this amazing world we live in.
Happy birthday my travelling Grandma! I hope everyone up there enjoys your travel stories as much as I always did! Xo
Sometimes the best trips are the ones where you just say “Let’s go” and figure it out on the road!
I had always wanted to visit Paris, but seemed to always find myself heading elsewhere on my trips to Europe. Finally, on my last trip over, I had a few days to spend exploring the ‘city of love’. The architecture here is amazing. I loved just wandering around the streets taking in all the old buildings. Since we didn’t have much time, we walked the streets looking for all the iconic Parisian sights, stopping at bakeries for croissants and coffee along the way!
Here’s a little video with some of the most famous sights in Paris.