Peru may be known for Machu Picchu. It may be pondered for the Nazca Lines. It might even be remembered for its supurb pollo with a drink of Inca Kola. Really though, Peru is still so much more.
We spent longer in Peru than we have spent in any other single country on our trip. We had intended to continue with our Spanish lessons but caught up in trying as hard as could to ‘see and do’ it all. We nearly got robbed on our entry into the country. We toured the ruins of pre Incan civilizations. We hiked at nearly 3 miles in altitude while suffering from Diarrhea and made it in and out of one of the world’s deepest canyons. Best of all we were visited by our friend Leah who joined us as we did the Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
Before heading out to Bolivia though there was one more thing we just had to do. We’d fallen in love with Peruvian chicken long before we ever entered the country. While here we became enamoured with the rest of her cuisine from from lomo saltado to rocotto relleno.
Last up though was something very very important, Cuy.
It really was fitting that Disney chose to release its G-Force movie about a bunch of crime fitting Guinea Pigs now so that we could watch it while we were here in Peru. Because for our last meal, that’s exactly what we ate.
Cuy is a delicacy here, one we first learned of while in Ecuador. Guinea pigs are indigenous to this region and have been cherished as a source of food and nutrition for millennium. Sure we enjoyed our Alpaca steak, rich in nutrients and low in fat like American Bison (one of our favorites and something we made sure to eat on our brief visit back to the USA in July) but that’s just not quite the same a cute and cuddly RODENT.
So we sought out an ordered. It came and we ate. We had been warned that it was very bony and did not contain much meat. There it sat on the plate, with a side of rice, some lettuce, and a couple of potatoes. We stared at it a bit, grossed ourselves out for a minute or two. The band in the restaurant continued to play and we continued to stare our formerly furry friend down. Finally forks went up and in we dug. To be honest, I think my pinky finger has more meat than I was able to pull off that carcass but we did manage a taste and to all of you wondering…tastes just like chicken.
To Bolivia (with our visas already in hand) we go!