Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vegetarians, Stop Reading

This post was originally written for, when I was a member of a Rotarian Group Study Exchange in Pery.  I added this post to One Great Dewdrop on December 26, 2012.

Before we embarked on this adventure, we all had rules that we wanted to follow. Don´t drink the tap water. Don´t eat fruit or vegetables that aren´t peeled or boiled. Wear a seatbelt. Things like that.

Personally, every rule that I set for myself was broken within 24 hours of arriving in Peru, including avoidance of meat. In the United States, I´m a vegetarian, as is Molly and Maria. Both Maria and I have broken down and eaten meat, although I think life-long vegetarian Molly is still going strong.

In the interests of experiencing the full culinary heritage of our host culture, Gabriella, Nancy, and I decided to try cuy for lunch today. (If you´re a vegetarian, here´s the part where you should stop reading.)

Cuy is guinea pig. Cuy is surprisingly delicious. Cuy is a traditional Andean meat. Yesterday, as we were touring some ruins, we saw two people bathing a large bag of cuy (you read that right). The meat tastes a little like chicken, but with more flavor. The texture is tender. It´s almost like combining the flavor of dark meat with the leanness of white meat. Our Rotarian host, Alfredo, told us that cuy are best when they´re young, around three months. After six months, they´re too tough.

Other traditional Andean foods include potatoes, corn (maiz), potatoes, trout, potatoes, cheese, potatoes, chicken, potatoes, eggs, and potatoes. We have been fortunate to eat in several Andean restaurants since we´ve arrived in order to sample all the local dishes. Peruvian food is delicious! Everything seems much fresher, with more flavor, than in the United States. I want to put a few chickens in my backpack to bring to the U.S. for their delicious eggs, but I think I might have a problem getting through customs...

No comments:

Post a Comment