Pass the guinea pig please

Fried guinea pig (and potatoes).

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Finally, it's a different breed of animal in Peru than the cute furry pet we have here in the states. Guinea pigs are bigger there and they're a big delicacy. And they're featured at many a holiday party. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.


Dan Grech: Guinea pigs have been a staple in Peru for at least 15 centuries. They can be fried, roasted and stewed, and are often served with vegetables. In one town, the main cathedral even shows a painting of the Last Supper with Christ and his disciples dining on guinea pigs.

Peru is now trying to market guinea pig, known as cuy, as a low-cost alternative for Christmas dinner. Three bucks worth can feed a family of eight. This week officials presented a live guinea pig dressed as Santa along with eight cooked comrades by his side.

Dennis Jett is a former U.S. ambassador to Peru. He says Peruvians will have a major hurdle in selling the average American on guinea pig.

Dennis Jett:Overcoming the image of some nice little furry creature that belongs in a cage somewhere, as opposed to in a stew pot.

So how does a guinea pig taste? It's white meat is often compared to, you guessed it, chicken.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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