AmyMac703 you got graviola amazing fruit it is.
So glad I went through all that walking and climbing when I was healthy enough to go with nothing but a backpack. Food across the arco andino is so good, sometimes I miss local fruits and avocado varieties which are not comercial (same as with papaya and mamon).
No limits, only my will and the worlds I build.
http://www.plateoftheday.com/396/ Peruvian Cuy Al Horno – aka Baked Guinea Pig
Posted by admin under Food , Peruvian Food
I just got back from Peru and had an amazing time hiking the Incan Trail up to Machu Picchu. The hike was a grueling 4 day 3 night excursion through the magnificent green valleys and mountains of Peru. At the peak of our climb on the 2nd day, we were over 2 miles above sea level which, at that elevation was an equally challenging experience on physical, mental and spiritual levels. On the 4th day, we awoke at 3:45 AM and dashed off to the Incan Sun Gate to capture our first glimpse of Machu Picchu just as the sun was breaking. To see this with your own eyes after the 4 days of hiking was an unbelievable experience that I can truthfully say will stay with you for a lifetime. Unfortunately reaching the actual site was in someways anti-climatic or as my friend Daniel appropriately quotes Motorhead, “The chase is better than the catch”. Why? Because, as we approached the actual Machu Picchu site, we were suddenly met with crowds of tourists who had just comfortably ascended to the site via train and bus. Tourists aside however, I really can’t complain too much because the actual site of Machu Picchu is indeed a magical place worthy of being one of the 7 wonders of the world (Machu Picchu just got voted in this year). See my photos here
Now, on to the food. Everything you hear about the amazing food in South America is true. The vegetables, fruit and meat are fresh, non-genetically modified, and the taste is better than your average over-priced organic equivalent in the USA.
Day 1 – Dec 28th, 2007 Cusco, Peru
Cranked on a mixture of Diamox (high altitude medicine) and Coca Tea, I stumbled/wandered the city of Cusco (Cuzco) in search of good local cuisine. It was actually quite difficult given that I was staying about a stone’s throw from the Plaza de Armas, the “Times Square” of Cusco one might say – thick with tourist shops and high priced watered down, disgusting N American cuisine. I wandered about 2 km up the hills before finding a few places that served Cuy al horno (baked) and Cuy chactado (fried).
Ok, but Guinea Pig?
Aren’t they related to rodents?
Yes and to be quite specific, Guinea Pigs are a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.
Believe me, it was not so much a gustatory dilemma, but also a personal one since my sisters and I had a few guinea pigs as pets during our childhood. Nevertheless, I didn’t come all the way down to Peru just to miss out on a national dish. Not to mention, for you hardcore food enthusiasts, Guinea Pig was featured both on Andrew Zimmem’s Bizarre Foods and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Alas, you’re now looking through the eyes of an obsessed food blogger. Guinea Pig, my friend is what separates foodies from faux foodies. As a side note, I’m going to draw the line at dog right now. Although I was given a few opportunities to try it in China, I could not and will not go there. Call me a fakie if you want, but sorry.
“What the Fuck…”
That’s what I said as I boldly walked into the restaurant and promptly ordered the Cuy Al Horno special. My tingling feet and cramped stomach (side effects of the Diamox) suddenly made me second guess my decision, but I pressed on and slammed down a hot brew of the mind stimulating coca tea which emboldened my decision to eat baked rodent meat.
“What the Fuck..?”
That’s what I said when the waiter served the dish. Click here for photo (I warned you) This has to be a sick joke that the locals play on the tourists right? They must have hidden cameras to capture wary N Americans in the process of buckling over to vomit? I guess he read the blank expression on my face and quickly explained that this is simply a presentation for photos and that he would then take the dish back to the kitchen to have it properly cut for consumption. After retuning with the dish (head removed), I dug in and guess what? It tastes a lot like chicken. No joke! It’s baked with sprigs of a cilantro like herb that was pretty overpowering in my opinion but the meat was tender while the skin was a little tough. There are also a lot of bones, so watch out. The plate was served with a side of baked potatoes and a delicious deep fried pork stuffed green pepper. Overall, a good meal and one I would try again – maybe the fried variety next.
I make it a point whenever I visit a country to try out the local cuisine and I felt pretty good trying out a new dish for the first time in my life. Guinea Pig is significant staple of the Peruvian diet. It is estimated that Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year. What’s additionally fascinating is the degree that guinea pigs are engrained into the culture, so much so that there is famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco that shows Christ and the twelve disciples dining on guinea pig!
So my advice, try it if you get the chance. I heard from some locals here that you may be able to get it in NY. I highly doubt that but I will look for this and let you know if it’s true.
But if you insist... http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/...ting-rat-meat/
BANGKOK: -- Who would have thought? We've been hearing about the dog trade for weeks now. News of stray dogs being smuggled to neighboring countries. Today, we're met with even more shocking news. It turns out that Thailand is among several Asian countries which have a taste for rat meat. We're sure many of our readers are cringing at this very moment, but it certainly makes for interesting news.
Official numbers reveal that Thailand imports three tons of rat meat from Cambodia a day...yes, a day! This number does not include the amount of rats that are caught and eaten in vast farmlands across the north, northeast, and central parts of the country. The kingdom is ranked third behind Cambodia and Laos when it comes to consuming the meat of the small whiskered creatures.
For those of you wondering how Thais can stomach the dirty little animals, we must make it clear that when we say rat meat, we're not talking about sewer rats found in city areas. We're talking mostly of farm rats in the countryside which are believed to be much cleaner and toxic free.
Apparently, the practice has been a part of Indochina civilization for centuries. It is believed, although not proven, that the agricultural based countries of the region are more inclined to such delicacies. Farmers catch rodents to prevent them from damaging the crops. Said rodents end up on the supper table that evening. It has been reported that such tastes can be found in Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
The cultures of other ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines were highly influenced by the West and theoretically don't have such preferences.
Rat meat eating locals in Thailand are found mostly in the northeastern provinces. However, people in the north and central parts of the country are also found to have a taste for it. Provinces such as Udon Thani and Supanburi are widely known for the trade.
So how do Thais prefer their rat meat? Mostly, we like them grilled, crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. However, it is also widely found that rat meat is used in spicy Thai soups as well.
And make no mistake! The rat meat does not come cheap. Prices range from 180 to 250 baht per kilogram. So far, there is no known brand name for rat meat traders, but who knows, we could have a whole new business just waiting to be discovered.
Translated from www.manager.co.th
Last edited by Betorq; 08-25-2012 at 05:30 PM.
"Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
"Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
"The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown
Hmm. I would have eaten it if it had been rat and I would have eaten it with the little feet and the head eating the carrot or whatever that was. Then they probably would have laughed their asses off at me.
In Nepal our guide and porters dared me to eat the local pickle, which was made from carrots and very spicy. I pretended it wasn't hot at all. It was very hot but no worse than the hottest Mexican food. I tried to explain how close to Mexico I lived and that spicy food wasn't new to me. They still snickered at me.
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.
All my food travels have been pre-primal.
China, staying around the relatives in Shanghai and near Beijing: xiao long bao and Beijing duck. I also ate a bunch of packaged hickorynuts because bags of in-shell hickorynuts in the US cost $10/300g =\
China, Sichuan province: Yak meat. Yak milk. Oh my goodness. I starved on the rest of the trip because I was yearning for the taste of the yak meat and yak milk that I ate from the farm.
Canada: Had my first real sweet tomato here. Oh my god, so delicious. Inspired me to plant some in my backyard to emulate it. I also miss all of those real maple products. Haven't eaten fake maple syrup since.
Vietnam: PHO. To no pho-king end. In between I tried pretty much every single weird fruit that i could find. I never found out the name of half of them online. I was traveling with classmates; otherwise I would have also eaten the dog and the half-formed fetus in the egg.
Europe highlights: CHOCOLATE, working on an olive farm in Italy and eating freshly pressed olive oil with bread or rice, buffalo mozzarella, tartufo Italian pizza, fig marscapone gelato, French bread, French pate, French macarons, dense nut bread from Netherlands, and Spanish seafood paella.
Best food in America: salmon chowder in Seattle, gourmet sausages in LA and chicago, good hamachi at sushi places, and Hawaiian poke.
Kangaroo in Australia
Lamb anything and feta in Greece
Authentic Mexican food
Last edited by sakura_girl; 08-26-2012 at 12:46 AM.