Huaraz Peru Market, Guinea Pig To Cuy

by Captain Bill

Huaraz Peru Market, Guinea Pig To Cuy

Women selling live chickens, rabbits, and guinea pigs outside the Huaraz market

Women selling live chickens, rabbits, and guinea pigs outside the Huaraz market

Our first day in Huaraz we went to the market. Their market is different than Iquitos, and way different than Walmart. These women are selling live chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs from the mesh bags.

These cute little guinea pigs are closer to their fate, known as cuy

These cute little guinea pigs are closer to their fate, known as cuy

The cute little rodents in the photo above are guinea pigs. They were one of the first domesticated animals in the Andes. There is some evidence they were first domesticated for a food source in 5,000 BC by early tribes in Peru. They were definitely kept as livestock at the pre-Incan site of Chavin around 900 BC.

We saw these guinea pigs butchered and ready to cook at the Huaraz market place

We saw these guinea pigs butchered and ready to cook at the Huaraz market place

All of the chickens are hung up by a hook through the head. That is not done in the Iquitos market, or Walmart.

Chickens hanging from a hook through the head at the Huaraz market

Chickens hanging from a hook through the head at the Huaraz market

Bread is part of the culture of Huaraz where they raise wheat and corn.

Marmelita buying corn bread at the Huaraz market

Marmelita buying corn bread at the Huaraz market

Over 300 species of potatoes and tubers are grown in the agricultural district around Huaraz, but “only” twenty species of potatoes are raised commercially that are sold through the market.

Marmelita buying fruit near the potatoe section of the Huaraz market

Marmelita buying fruit near the potatoe section of the Huaraz market

We tried capuli berries for the first time, but did not like them very well. It was an experment. They looked attractive but to me they are bird food.

Capulina berries at the Huaraz market

Capuli berries at the Huaraz market

Other differences between the Huaraz market, the Iquitos market, and Walmart, is Huaraz only has trout in their fish section, but they have a lot of trout, I mean a lot of trout. Trout fishing in these mountain streams must be very good.

I expected to find Alpaca and Llama meat but there was none. Lots of pork, beef, chicken and sheep. Sheeps head soup is a popular local delicacy that I have not tried, and am a little squeamish about after seeing the sheep heads piled up at the Huaraz market.

We bought two avocados, two oranges, two mangoes, two pepinos, half a dozen ciruela Peruana giant cherries, capuli berries, and half a dozen corn breads to take back to our room for a delicious picnic. It was a good first day in Huaraz.

Huaraz Peru Market, Guinea Pig To Cuy

Bill Grimes, president of Dawn on the Amazon, is enjoying being a tourist at the market of Huaraz Peru.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca June 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I cant believe you do this to poor innocent guinea pigs! They are used as pets!!! Why do you do this?! Huh?! We don’t eat our pets here now do we?! Guinea pigs are used as PETS! I have 2 of them and just the thought of them as a side dish makes me want to cry!

2 Cassandra July 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

i agree with you. i am about to get a new piggy next month and i love guinea pigs.
P.S.
people eat dogs and cats 2

3 DRAGOS September 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

WAY ARE YOU EAT GUINEA PIG ?
NUBUNILOR VA-S OMORI CU MANA MEA

4 FlameColdBlood September 18, 2011 at 7:20 am

NUUUUU GUINEA PIG NUUU! WHY DO YOU PEOPLE DO THIS ILL GO TO WAR AGAINST YOU EVERYONE SAY “WAR!” IF YOU WANT TO GO TO WAR AGAINST THESE ROTTEN CRAPHEADS

5 lilianna ross January 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

As an animal lover I find this completly offenceive !!! That is horrible and cruel. Who in their right mind would stuff live animals in a bag like that!!!????? :{- DONT EVEN POST THIS ON THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 Stephanie ~ A FARMER January 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Our cultures involve, chicken, pork, beef, and salads as food here in america. I think what they are doing right, large animals are hard to come by over there and most of the rest of our world lives in poverty and hunger. Nobody is as lucky as we are. If you were raised up on eating anything your parents could get, from rotten cabbage to a peice of bacon, they are in the food range of almost all other countries because they are small, easy to keep, multiply fast, full of calories, and are cheap. If you live in poverty you take what you can get. Those guine pigs probly feed some hungry malnurished child, who probly works along side their parents, so they might be able to eat that night.

P.S. I know the whole bag thing looks cruel, but on the bright side its not a plastic bag, and the people brining them in probly had to walk along way so they didnt want to have to carry cages around because cages are big and bulky. Besides it really wouldnt hurt the pig, just like snuggling with a buddy in a hammock.

7 rachel fath March 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

i have a guinea pig and his name is snicker and we call him piggy boy and i think that what they did to the guinea pigs is horrible i think THAT IS SO MEAN AND WHY DO U WANT TO EAT THEM THEY ARE PETS NOT FOOOODDDD!!!!!!!!!!!

8 Erin March 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

Although I already knew guinea pigs are eaten in Peru, the pictures accompanied with this article have shocked and sickened me to tears. The fact they are going to be killed for food is bad enough without prolonging the agony by keeping loads of them in a tiny bag. And the way they are being held whilst being looked at is disgusting – they aren’t dead yet!! Urgh. I am going to go cuddle my three pet guinea pigs and be thankful they were saved from this cruel fate at least.

9 dfhwsrh July 5, 2012 at 5:56 am

I LOVE GUINEA PIGS. HOW DARE YOU HOLD THEM BY THE HEAD LIKE THAT AND HURT THEM. YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW ANGRY I AM RIGHT NOW…. 🙁

10 dfhwsrh July 5, 2012 at 5:57 am

I AM NEARLY CRYING.

11 Maria September 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

HOW DARE YOU HOLD THEM LIKE THAT. THEY ARE NOT FOOD. I AM ACTUALY CRYING LIKE REALLY BAD.

12 Waffles November 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

REALLY?! The guinea pig eating is just so cruel! Besides, who picks a guinea pig up by it’s head? It’s just like someone picking you up by the ears. Wouldn’t feel too good, would it? >_<

13 AJ November 8, 2012 at 2:25 am

HOW DARE U DO THAT THAT IS BULLYING AGAINTS ANIMALS SO ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! U SHOULD GO GET A LIFE, IN HELL!!!!
I AM LITERALY CRYING HERE!!! DELETE THIS SITE AT ONCE! 🙁

14 Liver November 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

GROSS! YOU PEOPLE SHOULD BE SHOT

15 Ana July 8, 2013 at 2:13 am

why people r crazy, stupid and heartless!!!!!!! Guinea Pigs r wonderful pets I really like them and I live in the same continent as Peru, right now Im crying so bad and the fact u eat them and keep them in a bag is so cruel and and AND I just want to shot at u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAVE GUINEA PIGS!!!!

16 Stephanie August 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

If they don’t hang chickens by the head in the Iquitos market, how do they sell them?

17 Jennifer October 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I know a lot of people are angered and sickened by the whole guinea pig eating thing and it’s definitely not my cup of tea…I have 2 babies as my pets myself but I can’t condemn or say hateful things like the people who have written previously have.

We have no idea what kind of experiences the people who live here go through. Just like animals, us humans will do anything to survive as well. Like anywhere else in the animal kingdom, animals will eat other animals to survive. In short, we pride ourselves with our gifted intellect but we really are at the very basic level, animals who get by in life. If eating meat of creatures we, in other countries, call pets to live then it’s their choosing.

While I feel extremely sad for the guinea pigs as I know them to be very similar to our own human emotions and needs, I can’t feel angry about this and I honestly wish others wouldn’t be angry or spout their hate language.

Hate is only ignorance in disguise.

18 Sonya November 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

NEVER KILL GUINEA PIGS!!!!!!!!!!

19 Candy November 23, 2014 at 11:38 pm

I have a guinea pig myself, but you have to respect their culture/diet. Its common to eat beef here, but in certain places of the world they are considered religious creatures. It is ignorant to call them savages and the like because they have been accustomed to eating cuy for many many years. I love my guinea pigs more than anything but I have to understand that they were originally domesticated (thanks to them they can be pets, keep this in mind) for eating.

20 dANIELLE December 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

STOP EATING GUINEA PIGS YOU IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are just HARMLESS animals THAT DO NOT DESERVE TO BE EATEN! I mean they never did anything to you!!! Pigs are one thing but GUINEA PIGS ARE A TOTAL DIFFERENT ANIMAL!!!!!! As for they are our pets!!!!!!!!!!!

21 Yoko January 1, 2015 at 10:58 pm

The photographer is not the one holding the guinea pigs. I agree that it is odd to eat animals that we consider pets, and I have three guinea pigs myself, but it is part of their culture to eat guinea pig meat. I’ll bet they think our cheeseburgers are weird. Believe me, the Vietnamese dog and cat meat trade is FAR worse than this.

22 Moni June 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Yes, how do you dare eat guinea pigs? And HOW DO YOU DARE EAT CHICKENS? I have 2 chickens at home and I love them. Don’t eat chickens. They are animals, not food. And cows? HOW DO YOU DARE EAT COW IN HAMBURGERS? Kill them and mince them like if they were food and not animals! And PIGS? How do you dare eat beautiful piggies? Killing them and taking their ribs out and puttting a barbecue sauce on them is abhorrent. All the people in the world should starve to death and not eat animals. Everybody would be happier.

23 Sabrina October 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

U haters!!!!! I hate all those ppl in the market they should be killed and roasted. All those women they are so cruel!!!! WHo dares eat guinea pigs???!!! I have one who mean the world to me and you would imagene how i feel!!!!!!!!! This is one of the worst articles ever!!!!!! #Dont eat guinea pigs in comment section if you agree. DOWN WITH PPL WHO EAT GUINEA PIGS YOU ARE TRULEY MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

24 Sabrina October 1, 2016 at 5:54 pm

EVERY ONE WHO LIKES EATING GUINEA PIG IN COMMENTS AND DISAGREES ARE LOOOSERS!!

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