Ingredients, Peruvian Cuisine, Traditional Food

Guinea Pig Claims Greater Popularity Each Day

Fresh Cooked Cuy (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Guinea pig meat (cuy) has become very popular in Cuzco’s cuisine as well as in national cooking. It is undergoing a boom. In our city it claims a place of preference in the dishes prepared for celebrations.

Thanks to its pleasing flavor, our people have invented a variety of dishes based on it. For example, you can find cuy chactado, pipian de cuy, baked cuy, cuy on a stick, and others.

Mostly, this animal is raised in people’s homes. It lives its life in small corrals, or in the kitchen by the traditional stove. The stoves are designed to have various holes in their lower sections so that these animals can stay warm and not get sick with the strong cold that often strikes our city.

To make the meat tasty there is a process. First, the animal needs good feed. Often, people give their cuys fresh grass, bran, and other types of food that are the secret of every household. They do this to guarantee that their guinea pigs will have great and unique tasting flesh to add to their cooking skills.

Guinea Pigs in the Kitchen (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)
Guinea Pigs in the Kitchen (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Whenever you want to enjoy this meat in which ever dish that strikes your fancy, there are just a few places outside the home where you can do so any day of the week. However, in Urbanización Bella Vista (the Bella Vista neighborhood) lovers of the cuy can find restaurants that specialize in them called cuyerías. Just outside the city, Tipón is another good place. It is twenty minutes distant and very calm and delightful. You can go their with your family to enjoy a good cuy in their company and in the open air of a garden.

The custom in Cuzco is that when people have birthdays or when visitors come, the howewives prepare something special. That is why they almost raise animals intehir yards, such as chickens, cuys, ducks and more. On that day they grab the animals they want that are ready for sacrificing and cooking. They prepare the animal and surprise you with a delicious plate, such as a cuy chactado or a pipián de cuy.

Cuys are much loved, in part, because they reproduce rapidly and in quantity. From every pregnant female cuy come seven or so small ones. They also grow to maturity quickly.

Finally, Cuy meat is found on our most typical and representative dishes, such as chiri uchu. This dish has all the meat and many other ingredients, but it cannot be lacking guinea pig. When you eat it you will realize quickly that it is one of the best dishes of our city and region of Cuzco.

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