Thursday, January 29, 2009

How To Eat Your Pet in Four Easy Steps

By Louise

Andrew was right when he wrote that our family will eat almost anything (see previous post). When we saw the paunchy, lip-smacking host of a Travel Channel show tuck into cuy asado, an Ecuadorian specialty, we knew that we had to taste it, too. For months we talked about it. Would we get to choose our own live victim (as the TV host did), or would we just eat what was served? The family was split on the live-dead question. Being softer, gentler souls, Graham and I decided that we did not want to bond with our dinner–we would eat what was served. Plus, we did not want to wait a long time for a freshly plucked...guinea pig.

That's right, in Ecuador, the guinea pig is no mascota, it's lunch. So, after our wanderings up and down Rocafuerte Street, we were ready to sit down for some real chow. We wanted rodent and we wanted it badly. Unfortunately, in spite of the TV lip-smacker's assurance that cuy was readily available in Quito, we couldn't find least not in the fine establishments we frequent (please see earlier posts). So we hit the road.

We boarded a bus to a town called BaƱos (that would be baths, as in hot springs, not toilets). We didn't actually travel by bus for four hours just to eat cuy; we went for other stuff, too. Like taffy. And rafting, zip lines, bridge jumping, and the thermal baths. I guess the town figures if you're ready to zip yourself across a gorge, fling yourself off a bridge, and hurl yourself at rapids on a raging brown river, you need some solid comfort food, such as guinea pig. How right they were.

Enough chatter. Here it is, in four easy steps how to eat your pet:

Step 1: Examine before you purchase. Grab tightly behind the neck: Is there a enough fat on the critter? Are its haunches meaty? Squeezing is good. Pinching better. Ignore the squeals.

Step 2: Before you start cleaning your purchase, light the fire. It should be hot, but not too hot--you don't want any flare ups. Carefully thread your cuy onto a hand rotisserie. Someone will need to turn it often so it doesn't burn. Season with salt and pepper. Brush with melted fat, paprika, and garlic.

Step 3: Baste often. When the cuy is brown and crispy it's ready to eat.

Step 4: Enjoy with rice and potatoes. One cuy is plenty for our family of four.

Tastes like chicken! No, pork! Chicken! Pork!

Surprisingly, Katharine did not eat this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ay, Dios, mio ! Como puedes comer tan mono animal ? Yo no podia hacerlo.
Comistes el piel ? UGH!