Okay, here it is… the crazy “when in Ecuador” experience! Cuy or Guinea Pig is a traditional dish here in Ecuador but specific to the city we are currently in, Cuenca.

A family that we met last Sunday when we flew here from Quito invited us over for roasted cuy. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity, plus friends! Our friends, Monica and Gustav are so generous. Not only did they pick us up from our apartment, but they also made us an amazing meal of cuy, chicken, rice, potatoes, corn and salad.

The cuy… oh gosh, reflecting on it, I can’t believe I ate that! I would compare the meat to dark meat, but silkier (maybe because of the fat content). There isn’t a whole ton of meat on the cuy. I would guess that it weighed about 3 pounds. Conor and I were each served a hind quarter. And it’s eaten with your hands. I just can’t get the image of that little claw so close to my face out of my mind! The skin is really thick and difficult to eat. While it was roasting, we sampled the liver and that was actually really good.

Don’t get me wrong, the meat was tasty, or bien rico. However, it’s the getting my mind around eating something that is a pet, a rodent back home. Super glad I did it. Not biting at the bit to do it again!

Oh, I have to note that while the cuy was roasting over the charcoal, rain came. And to solve that problem, Gustav and Conor brought the grill into the house and opened a window. Not going to lie, my first thought was that we were going to die of carbon monoxide poisoning in Ecuador. It was fine, but the grill did go in and out of the house a few times! 

Also have to note, that when we asked our friends in Quito about cuy, they thought it was yucky to eat. So it’s definitely a regional dish! 

After lunch, our friends took us on a driving tour around Cuenca. They were seriously so generous to spend so much time with us!