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Rocky M, NC Tasty Guinea Pig You Have There...

Discussion in 'Rocky Mount, NC' started by Lodreh, Oct 20, 2004.

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  1. Lodreh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    I could not make this stuff up if I tried...
    The Associated Press - Updated: 10:38 a.m. ET Oct. 19, 2004

    LIMA, Peru - After 34 years of patient tinkering, researchers at Peru's most prestigious agrarian university have bred a new culinary export they hope will scamper onto dinner plates throughout America and the world: the super guinea pig.

    The animal is a cuddly companion for millions of children in the United States. But in Peru, the rodent's birthplace, it remains a vital source of protein in rural communities, a mainstay of Andean folk medicine and a common religious sacrifice to the gods.

    "It is well known that Peruvians eat guinea pig. Foreigners are more reluctant to eat it as they see the animal as a pet," said Gloria Palacios, director of La Molina National University's project to promote guinea pig exports.

    "I think if they become familiar with the cuisine, maybe suddenly they'll give in and be tempted to try it," she said. "It is really delicious."

    Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year. It is a dining experience that normally requires two hands to pick scant, sinewy meat from a bony carcass _ often with the head staring up from the plate.

    But earlier this year, La Molina university started exporting the "Peruvian Breed" _ faster growing, plumper, tastier guinea pigs _ to the United States, Japan and several European nations that have large Peruvian immigrant populations.

    The 1,000 guinea pigs shipped out weekly _ mostly to the United States _ each weigh nearly 2 1/2 pounds, said Dr. Lilia Chauca, head researcher of the breeding project.

    In comparison, she said, the guinea pigs raised on alfalfa and vegetable peels in nearly every rural Andean household weigh between 10 1/2 ounces to 1 1/2 pounds.

    The meat is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol and has a distinctive flavor, similar to rabbit. Chauca and her team of researchers at La Molina's National Institute of Agrarian Investigation started the super-size guinea pig project in 1970.

    Archaeological evidence shows guinea pigs were domesticated in Peru as far back as 2500 B.C., and had deep cultural and religious significance. Guinea pigs are still a common tool of ritual healers, or "curanderos," who use the animals to diagnose illnesses.

    A 17th century native chronicler, Guaman Poma de Ayala, wrote that the Incas sacrificed 1,000 white guinea pigs along with 100 llamas in Cuzco's main plaza each July "so that neither the sun nor the waters would harm the food and the fields."

    From the beginning of the Spanish colonization, the Catholic Church brutally suppressed Indian religious icons. But the guinea pig was spared.

    Geronimo de Loayza, the first bishop of Lima from 1545 to 1575, refused a request by Spanish priests to order the mass extermination of the rodents, fearing it would spark a rebellion.

    The Spanish colonizers made Indian artists paint, weave and carve items with Catholic themes to decorate churches and evangelize the natives. The artists copied prints imported from Europe, but added Peruvian touches.

    Today, churches in Lima and Cuzco still display Indian depictions of the Last Supper with Jesus and the 12 disciples eating roasted guinea pig.
    Lod-Reh SaJon ~
    "If you seek knowledge and understanding look to the Force.
    If you seek pain and suffering look no further than me."
  2. eddie-wan-kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2003
    star 4
    "often with the head staring up from the plate" [face_sick]

  3. joe-da Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 4
    Oh my!

    By the by, which head we talking about???? Yikes!

    And by the by, I guess it's no different than eating those little Quizno's spongmonkey creatures..
  4. Lodreh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    I bet those are very chewy... like bubble gum.

    Lod-Reh SaJon ~
    "If you seek knowledge and understanding look to the Force.
    If you seek pain and suffering look no further than me."
  5. JediRiff FanForce CR Rocky Mount NC US

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2002
    star 5
  6. r2fu2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2004
    star 4
    would anybody like guinea pig I work at a pet store
    they sound so tasty (not)
    nope would not try it unless I had to
    or just did not know
  7. Lodreh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    I wonder what a Chinchilla taste like...

    Lod-Reh SaJon ~
    "If you seek knowledge and understanding look to the Force.
    If you seek pain and suffering look no further than me."
  8. Sol_Badguy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 2
    they probably taste soft
    and probably like mexican or something
  9. Lodreh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    Soft is closer to a texture not a taste...

    Lod-Reh SaJon ~
    "If you seek knowledge and understanding look to the Force.
    If you seek pain and suffering look no further than me."
  10. Sol_Badguy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 2
  11. Entropy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    I wonder what a Chinchilla taste like...

    Chicken. Nearly everything "unusual" tastes like chicken. :) In reality, it probably tastes like rabbit or squirrel.
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