Friday’s Featured Food: Cuy al Horno (Roasted Guinea Pig)

Friday’s Featured Food – Cui – Roasted Guinea Pig, PERU

On selected Friday’s, Don’t Stop Living brings you a featured food. This series of Friday’s Featured Foods will be chosen at random from the countless dishes, meals and snacks I have tried as a global traveller. First up, I head back to my time in Peru and the day I tried Guinea Pig, known locally as Cui.

Spirits were high and hunger had arrived just after an epic 4 day Inca Trail which concluded at the immense Machu Picchu

I had just finished the epic Inca Trail, which came to a stunning climax in the lost Inca City of Machu Picchu so spirits were high and I was just in awe of the amazing Sacred Valley in Peru. After the Inca Trail came to a close in Machu Picchu, we had been invited for lunch by our tour guide. We had agreed to meet in Chaski Restaurant in Aguas Calientes, PERU at 3 pm. I was hungry and wanted something local. PLUS, it was Christmas Day!!

Christmas Day in Aguas Calientes – before the Guinea Pig feast!

As a child Christmas Dinner was always a special occassion. It was nice that I could visit the church in Aguas Calientes before heading to Chaski Restaurant for the Peruvian Christmas Dinner, with a difference.

Chaski Restaurant is by the train line in Aguas Calientes, PERU

I had never tried Guinea Pig before and was set on it. Peru and Ecuador are the best places in the world to try Guinea Pig. I am adventurous in ordering and trying new food. However I must admit, if I don’t like something, I won’t finish it just for the sake of it.

Take your pick of Guinea Pig – either Roasted or Stewed – at Chaski Restaurant in Aguas Calientes

I had two options for my Christmas Guinea Pig – either Roasted Guinea Pig ( Cuy al Horno) which is served with potatoes, salad and cheese or Stewed Guinea Pig ( Pepian de Cuy) which is topped with peanut sauce and served with potatoes and rice. Both cost 55 Soles. I was delighted to hear that I would be having potatoes on Christmas Day, and because I used to eat Roasted Turkey, I went for the Roasted Guinea Pig.

Roasted Guinea Pig – Cuy al Horno – Christmas Dinner in Aguas Calientes, PERU

When it arrived it just looked amazing!

Close up of the roasted head of my Christmas Day Guinea Pig

The entire Guinea Pig was on the plate, as you can see head and all! It was a cheers all round for our big group of Inca Trail survivors as we ate and drank to our hearts content!

Friday’s Featured Food – Trying Roasted Guinea Pig (Cuy) for Christmas Dinner

So, what you really want to know is was the roasted Guinea Pig it any good? Is it worth trying? As a traveller and a lover of the phrase “I’ll try anything once” then I have to say Yes! Go to Peru and try the Roasted Guinea Pig. It was well cooked, a bit roasted and I would say similar to chicken. You do have to pick at the bones and search hard for genuine large lumps of meat, but definitely worth trying once, especially the effort that was put into making it and the aroma from it. Having eaten as much of it as I could, it was time for a few Christmas Day beers to toast to the success of having completed the 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. My advice – try Roasted Guinea Pig!! Known as Cuy! You might never get the chance again. Don’t Stop Living!

A video of me trying Roasted Guinea Pig at Chaski Restaurant, Aguas Calientes, PERU:

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