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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!