What you see there on that “plancha” or “parilla” (grill) is called “Cuy,” also known as Guinea Pig.
For those living in the U.S. of A, these images might be a little hard to accept, as we like to keep cuy as pets — Not Eat Them!!!
However, in the Andean regions of Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia — these rodents play a big part of indigenous folk culture, are cultivated as a major food source, and are integral to various religious, ceremonial and medicinal practices…
And despite having a guinea pig as a pet when I was little (R.I.P. “Skeeter”), as a cultural guest of Ecuador, it was only right that I push past my memories of my dear friend Skeeter, and dare to probar por primera vez (try for the first time) this most traditional Andean dish.
And take photos of it, of course.
I’d say it has a flavor similar to rabbit (conejo), but is also a little greasy, as cuy tend to have high levels of fat content — delicious with ají…