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Would You Eat Guinea Pig?

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September 16, 2013

Would You Eat Guinea Pig?

By David Draper

I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater and will try most anything, short of insects. Insects I just can’t do. But most other proteins I’m usually game for tasting, at least once, and that includes guinea pig. You and I know them as fuzzy little pets—in fact, I had a couple as a kid named Odie and Odie II—but in some South American countries guinea pigs, called cuyes, are a delicacy. I remember seeing them run across the road in Argentina, and our driver said he had eaten them and thought they were delicious. Had I been in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago, I might even have tried them from a street vendor there. Good thing I wasn’t, as apparently a bad batch of cuyes is being blamed for an outbreak of food poisoning.

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

At least 81 people fell ill from suspected salmonella poisoning after eating guinea pig meat and other foods from a vendor at a Minneapolis street festival earlier this month, health officials said.

The vendor had a city permit but sold unapproved food and handled it improperly, according to a city spokesman.

The outbreak happened at the Ecuadorean Independence Day celebration at the New York Plaza Produce grocery, 1304 E. Lake St., on Aug. 11. Scores of people went to Hennepin County Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis with severe gastrointestinal symptoms after eating the tainted food.

Bill Belknap, a spokesman for Hennepin County Public Health, said some of those who fell ill ate a traditional Ecuadorean dish that contained guinea pig, but others who didn’t eat that dish also were sickened. The Minnesota Department of Health said a number of them tested positive for salmonella. Everyone who fell ill was treated and released.”

Despite this health scare, would you try guinea pig? What strange foods are off limits for you?

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from ejunk wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

I'll try anything.

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from MattM37 wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

The kind of creature never bothers me, just the parts therein. I won't eat kidney from anything, not even a deer, nor testicles, nor the brain. As for the guinea pigs, they're no more rat-like than a squirrel -- though I realize that it's the pet thing, moreso than rattiness, that will deter some people.

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from mike0714 wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

As i have previously posted i have eaten guinea pig before and the fist time they was so much chili with them i could not sit right for a week and the second time i managed two bites before telling our host that my stomach was bothering me too much to eat. Both times they where pan fried with local greens but the first time the lady dumped i about a cup worth of dried chilies into the wok like pot and i choked it down with a lot of bread. the second time it was done with potatos and some greens. the whole dish had the taste of grass and dirt even in the meat.

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from SMC1986 wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

I would definitely eat guinea pig. I've eaten iguana, termites, and some other "exotic" stuff but have yet had the chance for guinea pig.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

Little squirrel sized pigs, who could hate it! Just put one of those little back straps in a hotdog bun and sign me up!
Anybody know. Do they taste like pork?

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from babsfish4life wrote 30 weeks 2 days ago

I had chance to go to South America last summer and was able to eat Guinea Pig 3 times. themadflyfisher is actually right on, they taste very much like pork just more work to get the meat off the bones. What I was amazed at was alpaca, never had a better tasting meat, llama was pretty good also. I've cooked hundreds of Rocky Mountain Oysters at the Montana State Fair and thought those were good (not amazing) if that puts my opinion in a less than wonderful light.

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from action1250 wrote 30 weeks 20 hours ago

Thankfully I have not been that hungry in the past but I will try most anything.
Hungry is as hungry does!

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from Mark-1 wrote 30 weeks 17 hours ago

Showed this blog to eldest girl who did a Peace Corps stint in Bolivia. She said Bolivians cut the heads off, but leave the claws as your pic shows. She thought guinea pig tasted like dark meat and alfalfa.

All in all, she said guinea pig is NASTY.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chapdawgie wrote 30 weeks 5 hours ago

While stationed in Korea, I had eaten Kigogi{Not sure of spelling} and a brandy snifter filled with brandy and what looked like a baby jellyfish.....Well, the Kigogi was a dish made with dog meat,{Very spicy, but good} and the brandy "jellyfish" was a cobra's venom sack....Overall, not a bad dinner for a GI who wanted to "go native" and win their harts and minds....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bucketmouth24 wrote 27 weeks 2 days ago

I ate in Peru, and once you get past the former pet staring at you, it's actually pretty good. Also ate some alpaca, which doesn't sound so bad, except they prepare and serve only the head

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ejunk wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

I'll try anything.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

The kind of creature never bothers me, just the parts therein. I won't eat kidney from anything, not even a deer, nor testicles, nor the brain. As for the guinea pigs, they're no more rat-like than a squirrel -- though I realize that it's the pet thing, moreso than rattiness, that will deter some people.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike0714 wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

As i have previously posted i have eaten guinea pig before and the fist time they was so much chili with them i could not sit right for a week and the second time i managed two bites before telling our host that my stomach was bothering me too much to eat. Both times they where pan fried with local greens but the first time the lady dumped i about a cup worth of dried chilies into the wok like pot and i choked it down with a lot of bread. the second time it was done with potatos and some greens. the whole dish had the taste of grass and dirt even in the meat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SMC1986 wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

I would definitely eat guinea pig. I've eaten iguana, termites, and some other "exotic" stuff but have yet had the chance for guinea pig.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 30 weeks 3 days ago

Little squirrel sized pigs, who could hate it! Just put one of those little back straps in a hotdog bun and sign me up!
Anybody know. Do they taste like pork?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from babsfish4life wrote 30 weeks 2 days ago

I had chance to go to South America last summer and was able to eat Guinea Pig 3 times. themadflyfisher is actually right on, they taste very much like pork just more work to get the meat off the bones. What I was amazed at was alpaca, never had a better tasting meat, llama was pretty good also. I've cooked hundreds of Rocky Mountain Oysters at the Montana State Fair and thought those were good (not amazing) if that puts my opinion in a less than wonderful light.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from action1250 wrote 30 weeks 20 hours ago

Thankfully I have not been that hungry in the past but I will try most anything.
Hungry is as hungry does!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 30 weeks 17 hours ago

Showed this blog to eldest girl who did a Peace Corps stint in Bolivia. She said Bolivians cut the heads off, but leave the claws as your pic shows. She thought guinea pig tasted like dark meat and alfalfa.

All in all, she said guinea pig is NASTY.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chapdawgie wrote 30 weeks 5 hours ago

While stationed in Korea, I had eaten Kigogi{Not sure of spelling} and a brandy snifter filled with brandy and what looked like a baby jellyfish.....Well, the Kigogi was a dish made with dog meat,{Very spicy, but good} and the brandy "jellyfish" was a cobra's venom sack....Overall, not a bad dinner for a GI who wanted to "go native" and win their harts and minds....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bucketmouth24 wrote 27 weeks 2 days ago

I ate in Peru, and once you get past the former pet staring at you, it's actually pretty good. Also ate some alpaca, which doesn't sound so bad, except they prepare and serve only the head

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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