It all started with the appetizers: papas fritas, locra de papas and un sanduche de huevo y chancho. But it was the entree that really mattered. We had come to Salon Tres Estrellas to eat cuy. People say that if you come to Ecuador you HAVE to try it. I was excited. But then I learned what it was.

Papas cocinado y mote, side traditionally served with cuy

Cuy: The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig, also known as cavy or domestic cavy, is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common name, guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they biologically related to pigs, and the origin of the name is still unclear. Wikipedia

Lifespan: 4 – 8 years

Gestation period: 59 – 72 days (Adult)

Mass: 0.7 – 1.2 kg (Adult)

Scientific name: Cavia porcellus

Length: 20 – 25 cm (Adult)

In other words, food.

When I first saw the cuy on the rotisserie, it looked really weird. Even though I knew some people keep them as pets, I didn’t feel bad about eating a guinea pig. Sorry to you people who have pet guinea pigs, but just know that people do eat them.

Vegans beware!

Out came the magnificent cuy. I was the first to dig in on the tiny little animal. It was small, but tender. The meat was juicy and the skin was crunchy. I had been excited to try it, and when I finally did, I really liked it. “It tastes like chicken,” I said to my mom. And it did. It really did taste a lot like a tiny chicken.

Cuy, minus the piece I’m eating!

Then I got to dissect the head!!!!!!!!

I pulled it apart and tried to find the brain. When I found it, I wanted to eat it!! So I made it happen. I got my mom to video me eating it so I could show you guys (just a heads up: it’s super cringey).

EATING the Cuy brain!

I ate the brain and it tasted terrible, “like cheese,” I said. I liked the rest of the cuy, but definitely not the brain. My dad told me not to say I didn’t like it because the waiters and cooks might get offended. But honestly, I don’t see how anyone could like the brain of a guinea pig.

Cuy brain

So that’s the story of how I ate the pet (aka food) of the century. As I said, it tasted delicious. I give Tres Estrellas a very good rating, a job well done to the cooks and the waiters. And a big thank you to the guinea pigs that give their lives to people who are hungry for some cuy!

Published by Julia Gale

i love to sing. my favorite animal is a fox. (shout out to my mom and her group called the Foxies that got me started on loving foxes). i love animals, exploring and going to Birmingham Audubon Mountain Workshop!

Join the Conversation


  1. Very interesting dining experience! I am thrilled you shared that with us, but I think I would have had to forgo consumption of the brain!😬 You were very brave to try that! I am enjoying your trip via photos, videos, and the blog posts.❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julia!!!! ❤️ Hey! I loved your blog post!
    Thanks for including all of the details about your experience. I have never tried Cuy but I am very curious to know what it tastes like. Thanks to you, I’m a little closer to that knowledge! 😂
    I miss seeing your face each day! Have fun and enjoy this special family adventure to the fullest!
    Keep posting!
    -Ms. April

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m impressed that you tasted the brain. I’m impressed at your willingness to go outside the bounds of normal day to day stuff. I’m enjoying the blogs. But I’m not sure I can ever eat cheese again knowing it resembles rodent brain. Maybe I should thank you? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thank you so much ms. april!!! i miss you ms janet and ms jodi!!! i am going to miss being in your class. i will deffinitly keep posting!!!!! thank you. i love you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julia, I love that you’re embracing your experience and eating what the locals eat. Such a great way to make the most of your time in Ecuador. Loved this post and am enjoying seeing your family’s posts, photos, and videos. Can’t wait to see what else you find tasty!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the blog post, Julia! So proud of your adventurous spirit, descriptive writing, and dissection skills!

    I don’t think I would have tried cuy if I’d had the opportunity before having read your blog, but now it’s on my bucket list…


  7. I first learned of cuy watching Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel. I would like to try it as well. So many food sources are overlooked, i.e. insects, due to stigmas. The rest of the world is hungry and utilizing more resources than the average American to feed their families. Great article and keep them coming! The (food) truth is out there!😉


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