back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

We at the El Reg post-pub nosh team are taking a break from the kitchen this week, and bringing instead a report from deepest Peru on classic cuy chactado (deep-fried guinea pig), courtesy of my old pal Gavin Wright. Gavin has a penchant for tackling challenging routes worldwide atop his bicycle, and was recently in Bolivia …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    The only bit I liked

    Was the squashed flat and the spuds, I tried rat on a survival course in the army, it was okay but something I would not choose as a staple. This guinea pig just looks like a chubby rat to me, if my life depended on it I would eat almost anything but with a choice and being in the Andes, I may prefer a slice of one of my companions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only bit I liked

      And vice versa?

    2. flokie

      Re: The only bit I liked

      My grandfather fought in WW1 and had a few 'kitchen' related anecdotes. The grub was horrible, but one time he was sent to fetch the food for his troop, the cook was proud to share a rat he had caught. This turned out to be possibly the nicest meal he had in the trenches.

      I'm not very fussy when it comes to meat, but I'd definitely consider guinea pig ahead of rat. Although squashing the whole thing keeping the teeth visible isn't the most appetising way of presenting I could think of.

      Reminds me of a thought that crossed my mind the other day as seagulls were flying about... Do seagulls get eaten anywhere? Or is there not enough meat on them? Or do they taste horrible?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The only bit I liked

        Reminds me of a thought that crossed my mind the other day as seagulls were flying about... Do seagulls get eaten anywhere? Or is there not enough meat on them? Or do they taste horrible?

        Maybe, I think the recipe is you boil them with a rock, when the rock is tender you throw away the seagull and eat the rock.

      2. Grikath

        Re: seagulls

        There's a solid reason why, but if even the hardiest scavengers refuse to dine on seagull unless a matter of life and dead..... Well you get the picture...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The only bit I liked

        In Belize they have gibnut, a similar rodent.

        The Queen had some when she visited Belize many years back. Back at home, it was reported in The Sun under the headline "Queens eats Rat".

        And so now it is known as "Royal Rat"

    3. Benchops

      Re: The only bit I liked

      On a trip to Peru I got a chance to try a small portion of guinea pig (not a whole one -- I got a back leg I think). It was cooked the boiled and fried-to-crisp way and it tasted not unlike duck. I would certainly eat it again. Much to my neighbours' children's worry.

  2. Grikath
    Coat

    Off to the pet store!!

    mines the one with the sharp knife and the schnitzel hammer...

    1. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Off to the pet store!!

      If you've got a hammer, there's no need for a knife....

      1. Robert Helpmann??
        Childcatcher

        Re: Off to the pet store!!

        If you've got a hammer, there's no need for a knife....

        In my experience, it's a lot easier to skin an animal with a knife. To each their own, I suppose.

  3. lnLog

    Optional extras

    Not to forget the reasonable number of cases of bubonic plague due to infected cuy...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Optional extras

      cuy bono?

    2. RcR

      Re: Optional extras

      Actually, genetic studies have confirmed that guinea pigs rather than rats were the proximate source of bubonic plague.

  4. Richard 12 Silver badge

    It's a very rich meat

    I quite like it.

    Hard to find in UK restaurants though, can't imagine why.

  5. BobRocket

    Family of four

    It might be a stretch feeding a family of four on Gilly the guinea pig, surely you would be better off eating Lucy the llama instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Family of four

      Not really. In terms of meat production, smaller is more efficient.

      Besides, a lot of Andean families keep guinea pigs as 'pets' around the house for the kids to play with, and then happily eat them when they're ripe, just like piglets in other areas. Llamas take too much room to make a good pet.

      And there's a lot more too:

      "...in the Andes guinea pigs are considered a great delicacy, are important in folk-medical diagnosis, and are regularly sacrificed to the gods." Source.

      Sacrificed using a teeny-weeny knife, no doubt.

  6. frank ly

    It's only a small step from here ....

    .... to rat onna stick. Can we have named meat pies as the next article?

    1. David Dawson

      Re: It's only a small step from here ....

      Ah, good old terry. I miss him.

    2. skeptical i
      Devil

      Re: It's only a small step from here ....

      Meat pies from Mrs. Lovett's shop under the barber's? They'll serve anyone, you know.

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Support your local farmer

    If you fancy supporting small farmers of guinea pigs, to make sure that this delicious(?) nosh stays on the menu, you could try visiting KIVA - a microfinance site where you can lend small amounts to the 'working poor' around the world, including guinea-pig farmers!

    There's only one bod looking for funding at the moment, why not pop over and lend him a hand (and $25).

    http://www.kiva.org/lend/871676

    1. Martin Budden Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Support your local farmer

      KIVA is awesome, I have several loans on the go. Each time a loan is repaid I re-lend the money on to the next project. It's a great way to help people help themselves.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Support your local farmer

        Never heard of kiva. Just put a loan out now. Respect.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Looks more like...

    A dead 'face hugger' from the movie 'Aliens' to me...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Looks more like...

      ...the acid would ruin your teeth.

  9. chivo243 Silver badge

    On second look

    it looks more like what I ran over on the way to the pub, hmmmm? Why do get the feeling there is a connection?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: On second look

      I guess this is similar to the Road-Kill Cafes that are allegedly here in the States? Not the burger chain but the ones offering the "kill of the day"....

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: On second look

        Road Kill Cafes are a terrible idea; encouraging drivers to swerve all over the road just to ensure dinner!

        as an aside when I lived in N.Cal the commonest road kill there seemed to be skunk, appetising would not describe it well.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On second look

        From your grill to ours, you kill 'em, we grill 'em...

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: On second look

          Awewsome! Up vote! Are you in marketing?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cocaine rat - Jesus liked it

    In Cuzco there is a cathedral with a large mural of the Last Supper, with Jesus about to have a nice roast guinea pig. Can't make out coca-leaf at that resolution but I assume it was there.

    Maybe the DEA and PETA have their objections, but if it's in the Bible it's gotta be A-OK!

    1. king of foo

      Re: Cocaine rat - Jesus liked it

      Hmmm... not sure I like your logic.

      2 Kings 6:26-29

      As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, "Help me, my lord the king!"

      The king replied, "If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?" Then he asked her, "What's the matter?"

      She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we'll eat my son.' So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son so we may eat him,' but she had hidden him."

      Om nom nom nom...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A friend's brother and pals acquired a taste for guinea pig when hiking round South America. He was supposedly trying to add it to his cuisine in the UK - but not sure if he managed to get one to the table.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coat

      Well.. there are probably ways, but I'm guessing that the pet store staff will be suspicious if you come in every week for "groceries". Then again, people with big snakes buy mice and rats for them. Same for those with predatory fish in a home tank... maybe it wouldn't raise an eyebrow or two.

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: people with big snakes buy mice and rats for them

        AIUI the live feeding of vertebrate species to reptiles is mostly illegal in the UK.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: people with big snakes buy mice and rats for them

          I did not know that. Thanks for pointing that out.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The cooked dish presentation reminds me of a half suckling pig served at Fernando's(?) beach restaurant on one of Macau's islands. I had not expected it to be quite so recognisable as the animal itself - very tasty though. A very interesting restaurant with a big reputation in the 1990s. Hard to find though. After much enquiring you entered into what looked like a most unpromising small beach cafe - then the nice restaurant was hidden behind a back door.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Suckling pig is a popular dish in Hong Kong too, often served at celebrations, business openings etc. Quite impressive when a dozen waiters bring in one with flashing red eyes for each table.

  13. JeevesMkII

    It'd be a lot more appetising if...

    they didn't leave the little head on. I don't like to empathise with my dinner, thanks.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It'd be a lot more appetising if...

      Don't go to certain States then (Colorado comes to mind). If you order the rainbow trout it has to be presented with the head and tail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It'd be a lot more appetising if...

        Weren't the anchovies bad enough? Those EYES...!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It'd be a lot more appetising if...

      If you truly don't like to empathise with your dinner then really you should stop being such a hypocrite and become a vegetarian. Head on or head off, it was still killed for your pleasure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It'd be a lot more appetising if...

        If you're suggesting that looking into the eyes of ones food causes remorse in most people, please disabuse youself of the notion. It's not guilt, it's gross-out.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Ewwww....

    I've eaten rattlesnake, dog and alligator, but I could have done without the pics of the vivisected guinea pig in this article.

    Well, I can always read it again before what I had already planned to be a light lunch.

  16. Zuagroasta

    Oh sí! Inca nosh is tops

    I can totally vouch for this one - cuy is great meat, better tasting and more tender than chicken, almost as good as tepescuintle (aka paca, the next size up in the South American edible rodent line, from cuy all the way to capybara). Peruvian is one of the great cuisines of the world, and they do wonderful things to pork and fish too... but a good cuy or 2 before a night on the town are a definite must in Lima (or Arequipa, where the helpful lady in the video comes from).

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