Saturday, February 28, 2009


I've talked to the kids about the foods of Ecuador for a long time. One of the foods that peaked their interest was cuye (coo-i-e) or guinea pig, they've been interested in trying it.
Today was destined to be the day. We started out by going to the Otavalo animal market where the people come from all over to barter for pigs, sheep, cows, dogs, chickens, rabbits, cats and cuyes. We had to be there early, before the hotel opened their kitchen, so we took along some warm bread. The boys hardly ate it, just held on to it for comfort as they witnessed all sorts of animal shoving and selling. It was packed.
They really liked the rabbits (those are familiar and almost always look clean and not agressive). They also were facinated with the little cuyes. I was agasp at how the little creatures were picked up and shoved in potential buyer's faces, "Estas son muy grandes, no son pequenos. Tome lo! No son los pequenos. Y un buen precio, te doy las tres para tres dollares cada uno. Son grandes. Lo ve?" ("These are big,not the small ones. Take it! They aren't the small ones. At a good price too. I'll give you three at three dollars a peice. They're the big ones. You see?)
Well they sure looked small to us.
Tonight, for dinner at Hacienda Chorlavi in Ibarra, we tasted for ourselves. It was served with the head and claws and all, on a bed of rice and hominy with potato on the side.
They tasted small to me. A good experience for a mediocre taste.


amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amy said...

oh dear. I would leave that one for the brave souls! I wouldn't be able to handle this market..aww.doggies?..

a boring sparrow said...

to clarify, dogs and cats are not eaten.

amy said...

Oh..shew that's good:)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed!

I've been trying to check-in and read your story. This sounds like an amazing trip. I hope and pray it is all you hoped for!


Jan Sparrow (aka "Mom," or "Nana" said...

Hola cholos preciosos amorosos y adventurosos! Que milagro que estan por esas partes y que sobrevivieron ese mercado! Ricos cuyes! Gracias por avisarnos do todo. Nos vemos pronto. Cuidense con abrazos y besos a toditos los cholos por esas partes. El abuelito Tomas chao.

woodward said...

Hay que rico -- pero el savor es como pollo, no - con mas huesos.

Que divertido. Tus hijos comieron los cuyes?

Ay, las sonidas de los mercados. Que divertido.