Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gross Guinea Pig story

As any journalist knows, the most interesting bits in any story often end up on the editing-room floor.

Nate recently filed his review of Sabores del Peru, and it included this wonderfully horrid little anecdote about his first experience with Peruvian cuisine. Wearing my hat as "taste policeman," I cut it from the review. I know the argument that "people are eating breakfast while they read this stuff" can get old. But there you have it.
If you've gotten this far, and you don't mind being grossed out, here's Nate's anecdote, a little story I like to call "Soylent Green: Guinea Pig Edition."

I was on a trek in the Andes to climb a 20,945-foot mountain called Ausangate. Well beyond the last roads, and even beyond where the locals reliably speak Spanish, we stopped in my guide’s mother’s hut for dinner. She had prepared a special Andean treat: a stew of yellow potatoes, quinoa, vegetables, and guinea pig (tastes like squirrel.) She made no effort to disguise the guinea pig. Each rodent was cut into five pieces – four quarters with skin, feet, nails and all still attached, and the head. My first spoon of stew came up with a head. I picked it off the spoon and, to be polite, started nibbling the skull like a chicken wing. The old lady also dredged up a head and, without a thought, crunched it up in one mouthful, spitting the teeth on the dirt floor. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I did the same. And you know, it wasn’t half bad.

When we finished the meal, she tossed the food scraps on the floor. Suddenly, a herd of guinea pigs swarmed from hidden corners of the hut to devour the scraps. They lived there full-time. When they got big enough from eating scraps, they went in the pot.


Blogger Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

Hahaha! That's brilliant! Probably a good idea to edit it out of the main article, but glad you dropped it here. Ah, blogs... wonderful things, no? Well, sometimes. ;)

1:54 PM  
Blogger Freddy Hunt said...

Oh my god. I have heard about peruvians eating guyinea pigs. I guess the only thing worste than owning one of those vermins as a pet is eating one. Gross. Might as well eat a gerbil or a rat. UGGHGHGHUHGHUGHUGHHGUH

8:05 PM  

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