Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mmmm-Mmmmmm Guinea Pig!!

My manicurist is from Venezuela and in my appointment last week she had told me about how much she loves to cook and how she and another woman from Peru were going to do some catering. So we were talking about all the specialities... and when I got back to my computer, I had a notice from the place where I make microloans that my loanee in Peru was doing fine with her guinea pig business.

I have to say I don't remember funding that enterprise, but I started wondering if the little fellows were pets or dinner. I simultaneously wrote my manicurist and my friend Meredith who has lived all over the world and posed the question. Here are the responses:

Marianella from Venezuela writes: I asked my family and the answer is "both" they eat them, but they are also pets, but just a special kind that has long hair, I know in Ecuador are very popular as a meal, but I didn't know is the same in Peru...they call them "cui" ... I can't imaging having one of them as a dinner neither, they look like hamsters but bigger :( jajaja

I believe jajaja is Venezuelan for Yuck.

Then Meredith chimed in with: Oh yeah, they definitely eat guinea pig in Peru. I understand it's very much a standard meal there. I've never been to Peru, but a friend was just there and found guinea pig so ubiquitous that she decided to try one. She said it didn't taste bad, but the worst part was that they roast them whole, so she could still see all the little teeth on the skeletal head. Yuck!

I believe yuck is American for jajaja.


Stephanie said...

I may be wrong about this but I think jajaja is actually hahaha. One of my co workers from Chile writes that on Facebook all the time and it just seems to fit in with hahaha. I will ask her today and let you know. My words for that cuisine is yuckyuckyuck!

la pirata said...

Yes it is a very popular dish in Ecuador. I've had it-it's actually quite good.

Pat said...

OK, so what does it taste like? And was it served like this with its little teeth showing?

I was thinking about this take out place near me -- called Chickie's and in the storefront window are dozens of chickens roasted over charcoal grills. Well, that looks good to me but the chicken as an animal still has its shape -- so it's really just a cultural thing -- maybe in Quito, there's a place named Piggie's with all the guinea pigs roasting over the charcoal and people walking by are like Mmmm-mmmmm.