Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guinea pig: The fleecing of tourists in Ecuador

Monday night was my last night in Quito, Ecuador, and I had saved one goal of my trip for my final dinner: eating Guinea pig. Apparently, it's a thing, and Anthony Bourdain did it, so obviously I wanted to check this Ecuadorian rite of passage off my list. Funny thing, though: Not a single Ecuadorian that I asked had ever partaken of the little mountain sprinter. Should've tipped me off to the scam that is Guinea pig, or cuy, as it's known locally.

Anyway, very few restaurants had it on the menu. I went to the one the hotel concierge recommended. I ordered the half portion, mistakenly thinking it would be akin to half a chicken and, thus, be enough for a meal. The plate arrived (fried, though I specifically asked for it to be grilled, not fried), and with the little pig's face staring me down, I was a bit uncertain:

But, I didn't come this far to back down, so, with a smile on my face, I embraced what was about to happen...

...and dug in:

The meat you see here is the extent of the meat in a half cuy. Probably a tad less than you'd get from a standard chicken wing. What. A. Ripoff!!!

Yes, these would be teeth:

And here's what was underneath the fried skin on the second piece: NOTHING.

Thoroughly disappointed with spending $11 for 2 bites of (albeit salty and tasty) meat, I decided to salvage the meal by simply gnawing on its head. And, yes, I ate its crispy little ears.


JPa said...

wow... so there wasn't much to eat huh.. what did it taste like?
would you eat it again?

Anonymous said...

I almost threw up in my mouth looking at the pictures and reading this...more power to you for trying it!

Analog Girl said...

Not finding it on menus wasn't a good enough a clue, LOL? Gotta give you credit for trying, and you likely made their day, giving them something to laugh about for times to come. Gave me a good chuckle - thanks :-)