Cuzco: Eating Cuy at Victor Victoria
It's a fine line between being an open-minded eater and being the idiot who'll eat anything on a dare. I try to be adventurous enough that I don't miss a good meal due but not so much that I'm just eating something because it's there. In Peru, cuy was the elephant in the room. Guinea pig is a local delicacy that I admit had me both curious and a little grossed out. Really though, when was I going to have the opportunity to try it again.
In Aguas Calientes, I almost had cuy confit at The Tree House But they didn't have any on hand. I didn't go hunting for cuy after that, but I mentioned that I wanted to try it to Arturo, a friend of a friend, who leads food tours in Lima (more on that later). He recommended Victor Victoria, a small restaurant that's small, divey and off the beaten path.
We got totally lost the first time we tried to go there, but managed to track it down the next night. Joined by fellow anglophones from Brooklyn and the UK that we met at an Aussie bar down the road, we dove in together and had a pretty good meal.
It goes without saying that the meal wasn't going to be for everyone. But, that's not just because if what we were eating. Divey, local spots that aren't polished for foreigners sound more attractive when you don't have to swat roaches crawling up the wall next to your dining companion's ear. Yeah. Ew. Still, we were committed to an adventure and here we were.
Tammi went the less adventurous route with an order of chicharrones with hominy corn.
The Cuy, roasted and sold by the half, looks exactly like what it is. That may have been a little more real than I actually needed it to be. I may have been a little apprehensive, but at this point, I had to know what it tasted like.
Turns out, it was pretty damn good. With the anatomy of a rabbit, tender flesh of a suckling pig and crispy skin of a duck, the tastes and textures were definitely made the adventure worth it.