Would you eat your childhood pet?
Lucky for me, I was only allowed a goldfish (which oddly enough I called ‘Blog’ before I’d even discovered the internet) and a hamster that met a sticky end when my dad drowned it in a bucket!
I’d been whinging about eating guinea pig for weeks and our last night in Cusco was possibly the last chance I’d get.
A group of us arranged to meet at the highly acclaimed restaurant Quinta Eulalia, only to find that it was closed on Sundays. After one guy in a pharmacy falsely informed us that you could only get it as a lunch-time snack, we discovered a restaurant a few doors down that had two of the little fellows left. Score!
We ordered one between us for S/50. There’s not much meat on a guinea pig, but we were only there for the experience.
Making certain that they would serve it whole, so it looked as much like a guinea pig as possible, we settled in to a couple of bottles of Bolivian red and waited excitedly.
Half an hour later, the waiter brought a platter over to our table. Sure enough, the creature was whole. Its skin had sunk and wrinkled and its teeth protruded grotesquely. It was everything I’d imagined!
I’m not normally one to play with my food, but when my friend suggested we take photos kissing its snout I couldn’t resist.
We sliced it up into 4 chunks and tucked in. And it was really tasty…possibly the best meat I’ve had. The best bit was its paw, which crunched between my teeth like crackling.
The verdict: I wish it wasn’t such a delicacy. It’s definitely one of the most expensive dishes on any Peruvian menu. But it’s so worth ordering it if you get the chance.