Just a few days before Christmas Eve, guinea pig is presented as a healthy course for the main holiday meal on December 24 because of its high protein content and low fat compared to turkey, chicken and pork.
Widely consumed in Peru, guinea pig meat is high in protein and has no cholesterol; besides, it tastes delicious and is tender.
“This animal has a number of advantages: its meat is soft, is highly digestible and contains higher concentrations of proteins when compared to other type of meats consumed in the country,” said Christian Barrantes, head of the Small Animals Department at Lima-based Universidad Agraria de la Molina.
“This is not only the healthiest option but the most delicious. This animal is raised for a short time, which explains the great softness of its meat; it has a very characteristic flavor, indeed,” he added.
Barrantes concludes its consumption should be a priority in Peru, due to the absence of meat proteins present in the population’s diet.
A two-month-old “cuy,” –as it’s known here, from the indigenous Quechua language– weighs about 1.87 pounds, so it is ready to be eaten. This species is found nowhere else in the world.
It should be noted that now, with the Peruvian gastronomic boom, plenty of recipes have been coming out lately featuring this Andean food staple.