Guinea Pig

"cuy or guinea pig"

The best place to try cuy is at Tipon (on the South Valley tour)

As a matter of fact, it may look like somewhat disgusting for most people especially foreign tourists who regard the guinea pig or cuy as a home pet. Actually, I have heard people saying No way! when someone else suggested the idea of eating guinea pig. However, it is a traditional dish not only in Cusco but along the Peruvian highlands.

Therefore, it is easy to find cuy not only in local restaurants called picanterias but also in modern ones that serve the so-called novo andino cuisine. In the religious feast of Corpus Christi in Cusco, it is a tradition to serve guinea pig along with other ingredients in a dish called chiriuchu (in Quechua, chiri means cold and uchu means pepper).

"cuy or guinea pig"

At Tipon, you will eat cuy as tradition rules.

I have talked with a few cooks (nowadays it is a must to call them chefs) not only from Peru but also from some Latin American countries who told me that the traditional way of serving guinea pig would be so disgusting for international standards that most restaurants around the historical center of Cusco are creating new presentations.
Anyway, the town that still serves guinea pig as tradition mandates is Tipon, south of the city of Cusco.

"cuy or guinea pig"

At the city of Cusco, however, you find other presentations…

"cuy or guinea pig"

…even gourmet style.

“Hay conejos caseros y campestres, diferentes los unos de los otros en color y sabor. Llámanles coy; los indios, como gente pobre de carne, los tienen en mucho y los comen por gran fiesta”.

Comentarios Reales by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega

You may want to read these posts too:

Cusco Food

Two food fairs in Cusco

A glimpse at Cusco Food

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About Peru En RoUte

Natural-born backpack traveller around Peru
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