Saturday, October 11, 2008

De Cuy Con Amor

So it turns out that guinea pig (cuy) is a delicacy in Ecuador. I’m not talking about your cute little fuzzy household pet, but rather an industrial sized fuzzy version of the guinea pig. The guinea pig is “ranched” like cattle and they are advertised as being fed only alfalfa, making them a healthy meat alternative. So did we…….eat them?????? When in Rome, si! Our Spanish Profesoras took the three of us on a field trip to the best Cuy Restaurant in town. The restaurants proudly display their “cuy on a stick” on the grill in front. Cuy tastes more like duck than chicken. It was a lot of work for little meat and Joe keeps asking, “how did they get rid of all the hair - it isn‘t like plucking chickens?” Cheers to more culinary adventures!

Interesting Ecuadorian Foods:
Llapingachos: mashed potato pancakes with cheese and onion mixed in and is often served with a fried egg on top.

Choclo con queso: large kernel corn on the cob with cheese chunks on the side.

Humitas: the masa part of a tamale mixed with corn, cheese and butter.

Chulpi: toasted corn kernels with garlic, onion and salt. Samples may be available in Colorado at Christmas.

Ceviche de Camarones: Our Ecuadorian Madre made shrimp ceviche for us today. Not that different from what you get in the US.

Jugo Fresca: Fresh fruit put in the blender with water and sugar. We are served this with every meal and have tried local fruits such as tomatillo de arbor (tree tomato…..tastes nothing like tomato).

Vino Hervida: warm spiced wine that keeps you warm on a cool night while over looking the city lights!

Favorite Spanish Phrase:
“La cama llama” = The bed calls

Otavalo, Ecuador:
Huge indigenous craft market. Our Christmas shopping is almost done!

Peguche, Ecuador:
Leisurely walk into a beautiful waterfall. People were repelling down the waterfall. A nice break in between shopping locations.

Cotacachi, Ecuador:
Famous for its leather markets and great shopping.

Volcan Pichincha:
The Teleferiqo, a mountain gondola, takes you part way up Volcano Pichincha to 4100 meters elevation. We hiked part way to the top and took in the spectacular views of Quito and the surrounding mountains. We also ran into a few mountain eating clouds.

For the past three weeks we have been living with Eulalia (Ecuadorian Mother), Amelia (Aunt) and Estella (Grandmother). They are wonderful and gracious people who have welcomed us into their home. Estella has 10 children and 6 of them live in Quito (including Eulalia and Amelia) and come by the house frequently to visit, play cards and eat lunch. Eulalia cooks us three meals per day and Amelia does our laundry. Joe and Ryan had a great time teaching them a dice game (Farkle) while only speaking their “own” version of Spanish. Many laughs were had by all!
Enjoy more pictures at:


Cynde said...

Can't wait to taste that Pig! Sounds like such fun and you all look terrific! Safe travels to Galapagos.

Tony said...

Mmmm, cuy on a stick. Can't wait to try that!!

Have fun.