I'm just curious what the general consensus would be about eating Cuy... AKA guinea pig?
Would you eat it? If not, Why Not? Give me a good reason.
To describe it's flavor and texture... it's kind of like eating Rabbit, or dark meat on Chicken.
It seems to me that with current food trends, "gringos" are becoming more tolerant of exotic foods that they may have not considered trying 5 years ago. I'm guessing this is due to popularity of Anthony Bourdain's shows and to a lesser extent Andrew Zimmern's show. I see certain foods that seemed to be "taboo" a few years ago all of a sudden become accepted. For example, Peruvian Anticuchos... (Beef Heart marinated in Aji Panca, Garlic, Cumin, Red Wine Vinegar, served on skewers and grilled lightly over charcoal) has become something I can serve to most open minded people and they LOVE it. Of course, Ceviche is another good example of this recent open mindedness too.
When I had my Peruvian food truck, I would have all kinds of "gringos" coming up and asking if I had Anticuchos. Surprisingly, they were serious and really wanted it and were disappointed that I didn't have it. I would also have some come up and ask me about Cuy, but I got the impression that most were joking around about the Cuy and didn't expect me to really have it. But, I can see the curiosity is there.
The reason I'm asking is because I was having a semi-light hearted discussion in my current kitchen with some fellow cooks. I was saying that I was thinking about buying a few Cuys and start breeding them and keep them in a pen in my backyard. Make a little "Cuy Farm" and have them for dinner every once in a while. To them, the cooks I was having a discussion with, they all were very curious about the flavor. It didn't irk a single one of them. They all would consider eating one. I think this encouraged me a little more to actually go through with my "Cuy Farm" idea.
Just a little background on me. I am a "gringo" in every sense. I have a hispanic name and ancestry but I am very far removed from that culture, and I'm white as a ghost. I have been married to a peruvian girl for 7 years now. All we do is cook Peruvian food. It's my passion. She is from Lima. Cuy isn't a really popular item in Lima, it's more of a delicacy in Lima and is more commonly eaten by indigenous folk in the mountains and jungle areas, and around Arequipa (Peru's second largest city). One of my wife's aunts has a "Cuy Farm" in a little 10x10' courtyard where she also keeps chickens and dogs (no, they don't eat the dogs and the dogs don't eat the chickens or cuys). My wife has only eaten Cuy a handful of times in her life and I've only had it twice. But, I'd equate it to eating Rabbit. It's good! I even had a guinea pig for a pet as a child. The first time I ate "cuy", I didn't have any remorse or even think of my long dead pet guinea pig "Carrots" sitting on the plate in front of me.
Well, I went off on a rant there, but what do you think? Would you eat it? If no, why not?