What is Cuy? Peruvian Guinea Pig
What is Cuy?
Cuy is a species of rodent. They’re not pigs and they don’t come from Guinea. Peruvian locals don’t keep them as pets but as food. They are raised to be consumed. The Peruvian Cuy is related to another animal called cavy, a large sized rodent found in South America.
They are native to the Andes in South America. Cuy is a delicacy known for its rich flavor and the texture of its meat. Cuy has been consumed for more than 5,000 years in the Andean highlands of Peru, Bolivia and parts of Ecuador and Colombia.
The Cuy can often be seen depicted on elaborate ceramics and jewelry from the Moche culture from 100-700 A.D. on the northern coast of Peru.
Cuy, traditional Andean food in Peru
Cuy, one of the most famous Peruvian dishes with a unique and incomparable flavor compared to any other typical dish you have ever tasted.
Guinea pig is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre foods you can try on your trip to Peru.
Cuy al horno (Baked Guinea pig) is popular in the Cusco region, you will find it in almost all tourist restaurants in the region.
Now, how is Cuy eaten and prepared? Mostly the most popular Cuy dishes come with some kind of hot pepper sauce and native potatoes, the Cuy can be found fried, baked, grilled, dried, any way it comes, its flavor is still delicious.
Cooking Guinea Pig
The following guinea pig recipes are based on the traditional and authentic Peruvian national dish in its different ways of preparation.
Cuy Chactado (Fried Cuy)
It is a dish made with guinea pig and the word chactado refers to the way of cooking the animal, which is grilled with a stone on top to make it crispier. It is served as a main dish accompanied by boiled potatoes and chili sauces.
Cuy Al Horno (Roasted Cuy)
Baked guinea pig is not only a delicious dish, but it is also very nutritious thanks to the fact that guinea pig meat provides us with proteins and vitamins that benefit our health.
The recipe of Peruvian style baked guinea pig is a traditional Andean dish par excellence, due to its delicious aroma, exquisite flavor and the simple way of its preparation, have made it a very popular dish prepared today in almost every corner of our country.
Picante De Cuy (Spicy Cuy)
Picante de Cuy, also called Cuy Colorado, is a pre-Inca recipe, originally from the Peruvian highlands. Over the years it has spread throughout the country, becoming one of our most popular and delicious dishes.
Guinea Pig on a Stick: Peruvian guinea pig on a stick (also known as cuy al palo).
The best places to eat Cuy
If you are looking for recommendations for the best place to try Cuy? here we list the best places to try Cuy in the Cusco region.
Tipon: The town of Tipon is not only well known for its incredible and outstanding archeological site but also for being one of the best places to eat the best cuy in Cusco.
Compared to the Cuy cooked in any tourist restaurant in Cusco here the preparation is completely different because the Cuy is seasoned with herbs native to the place in the style of the village itself which is inherited to this day.
Lamay: As you enter Lamay, you will see several statues of guinea pigs at different points along the road.
In the village of Lamay you will taste the best Cuy al palo, with native ingredients in the best local style.