Monday, January 17, 2011

Cui

One more little byte from Peru. I'm not sure if you guys know that the most traditional, old-style meal in Peru is "cui" or guinea pig. It's so typical that in Cusco in the main church there is a painting of the Last Supper where they are dining on none other than cui. I had been to Peru before, so I already knew about how cui and the way that it is served. However, my colleague, Heather, had only known that cui was a typical dish in Peru, not that the way they serve it is whole and deep fried. You can imagine my surprise when she boldly ordered the "cui" at a restaurant overlooking Plaza Mayor in Arequipa. I said, "Wow, good for you." And she said, "Of course I have to try it. It's the most traditional thing here." God, I only wish that I had a picture of her face when the plate came out with deep fried rodent; complete with head and claws. Cui's meat tastes similar to dark meat of chicken or turkey, and the skin, well, tastes like fried skin. But it takes a whole lot to get past chewing on almost hairless skin, needless to stay with the little bugger's face staring at you while you dine. I would eat cui cooked like this for shock value, but never would I recommend it as one of Peru's finest meals.

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