What’s the first thing you can think of when you hear Guinea Pig?
You will certainly not visualize it on a plate but a cute little being in a cage, eating alfalfa pellets. They have a connection to our childhood memories.
But nowadays, rodents, including guinea pigs, are appearing more on the plate in the US. That’s because many relate its taste to that of a chicken.
The trend began in South America with high demand in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, especially during their annual festival.
Activists claim that eating guinea pigs may be beneficial for the environment.
Matthew Miller, director of science communications, says that rodents are a better alternative to beef.
They don’t impact the ecology with a massive need for pasture like cattle animals do.
What are Guinea Pigs?
Guinea Pigs, also known as cavy or cuyes in Spanish, are species of domestic rodents.
Domesticating these herbivorous rodents’ original purpose was to keep them as livestock animals and a source of meat.
However, they became popular as a household pet in North America and Europe. Western society welcomes this rodent more like a pet than a delicacy.
But let’ not forget that guinea pigs are originally South American rodents belonging to the cavy family.
And they still consider it a treat. The flavorful taste of guinea pig has begun to make rounds even in the western world now.
What Do Guinea Pigs Taste Like? Do Guinea Pigs Taste Good?
Guinea pig, or Cuy as they commonly call it, has a diverse taste between a rabbit and a duck.
The meat of it can get rich and flavorful if you cook it properly.
Try roasting it over a flaming fire to get its skin crackling, which can put pork crackling to shame.
Some even find the flavor similar to but not as soft as chicken.
They are small; hence there is little meat on the thin bones and needs attention while nibbling onto them.
They are flavorful, nutritious, and most importantly, they are initially livestock animals, and you can raise them with ease.
This delicious and valuable food is gaining popularity in other parts of the world. And that’s why more people are moving them from cages to plates.
And why not, as it tastes as good as other meats, if not better, and it’s eco-friendlier.
Not just in flavor, but guinea pigs are also a healthier choice. They may not be all meatier but a great source of protein.
In fact, their meat has higher protein content than beef, chicken, pork, or lamb.
They are also low in cholesterol, with only 8% fat, much leaner than other meats, making them an ideal choice for weight loss.
Guinea pigs are also an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B. They are healthy, small, and cheap, making them livestock with great potential.
As much as they are nutritious, they also need nutrition if you plan on raising them in your backyard for your consumption. Guinea Lynx tells you how.
How to Cook Guinea Pigs?
You can cook it whole, deep-fried, or grilled- it tastes excellent in several ways. Many eat them all the way from head to toe.
It can take you on a gastronomical treat, as Gordon Ramsey puts it. He says, “You do not know what you’re missing.”
You can roast or bake guinea pig, just like you would with any other meat. Here are a few standard methods you can try.
- This dish is of Peruvian origin. It involves frying the whole cuy in vegetable oil but in a specific stone oven.
- It would help if you cooked it until it’s crunchy and breaks easily.
- Serve it with sides of potato and greens.
- CuyChactado is a Peruvian cuisine and a specialty there. If you want to try guinea pigs the authentic way.
Stuffed Guinea Pig
- Like you would to a chicken or turkey, you can bake guinea pig with stuffing.
- Lay the stuffed cuy on a tin with generous accompaniments such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, and other vegetables.
- The entire prep and cook time is about 2 hours, and it makes a perfect Christmas meal. The One-Tin Roast Cuy is a must-try.
Guinea pig may be mall and humble but offer a lot more in terms of taste and nutrition, much more than other meats.
It may appear little daring to some people’s liking, but it is a great alternative considering the environment.
Switching to guinea pigs will significantly decrease the carbon footprint as well as make us more accepting.