Word Of The Day: Cuy

Guinea pigs are not just for certain hosts of the Travel Channel to consume. They are a Central Andean specialty otherwise known as cuy. This small rodent of South American descent is enjoyed in Peru, Bolivia, and other parts of Ecuador and Colombia, and pronounced in Spanish like muy — as in muy rico. Domesticated over 5,000 years ago in Peru, it was originally reserved for Incan royalty. Thankfully, cuy is now commercially available to the masses.

Named for the chirping sound that it makes, cuy is described as a less gamey-tasting rabbit or dark meat chicken. The most common cooking techniques include frying, broiling, and roasting. Certainly, each country will have its own ways of preparation. Peruvians typically serve deep-fried cuy with a peanut sauce called salsa de mani. And as with most dishes in the region, potatoes, fried yucca and rice accompany the entrée.