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Hou die varkvleis: Vegetariese vriendelike vonds in die land van vleis en vis in Portugal

Hou die varkvleis: Vegetariese vriendelike vonds in die land van vleis en vis in Portugal

Visbote in Portugal. Foto met vergunning van Fotografar.

Reis na Portugal, die wêreld se vierde hoogste visverbruiker per capita en 'n land van ywerige vleiseters, kan vir vegetariërs soos ek intimiderend wees. Toe ek rondvra na vleisvrye geregte, het ek antwoorde gekry soos “Cozinha vegetariana? Uhhh ... ek dink nie ons het dit nie "van mense wie se oë selfs die idee van 'n omnivoordieet bult.

Alhoewel die meeste Portugese dink dat meer vleis beter is, is dit nie ongewoon om beesvleis, varkvleis, varkvleis, varkvoete en meer in 'n enkele skottel te verpak nie, soos in cozido à portuguesa, 'n stoofpot wat tot 'n halfdosyn vleissoorte met groente kan bevat-Portugese kos is nie van nature vegetaries nie.

Tradisioneel het Portugese eenvoudige, stewige sop, bredies en ander geregte saamgestel met plaaslike bestanddele, insluitend groente soos groenbone, ertjies, aartappels, kool, blomkool, broccoli, wortels en boerenkool. Histories het hoë pryse van vleis en vis beteken dat kleinboere geneig was om sonder hierdie proteïenbronne te kook. Boerekos op die platteland het baie van die onderstaande vegetariese geregte geïnspireer. Vandag staan ​​vleis en seekos sentraal, aangesien die ligging aan die kus van Portugal die hoë beskikbaarheid van vars vis sowel as konyn, wilde wild, koei, vark, skape en bok ondersteun.

Geregte toon dikwels speserye uit die kolonies wat Portugal regeer het, insluitend piri piri (vurige chilipepers), swartrissies, saffraan, vanielje en kaneel. Die ruim gebruik van knoffel, olyfolie en kruie skep vleisagtige, styselgeregte wat ongelukkig vir vegetariërs selde groente as die belangrikste kenmerk beklemtoon. In groot stede soos Porto en Lissabon is dit moontlik om vegetariese restaurante te vind as u Indiese, Mexikaanse of ander etniese kookkuns wil eet; Die vind van vleisvrye tradisionele geregte het egter selfs my kosgierige plaaslike gidse uitgedaag.

Na uitgebreide ondersoek het ek verskeie sop, versnaperinge en maaltye gevind wat die essensie van die plaaslike kookkuns vasvang terwyl ek vegetariese vriendelike Portugese kos aanbied. Karnivore en peskatariërs, hou aan om te lees, aangesien baie sjefs geneig is om geregte met proteïene te verskerp, tensy u anders spesifiseer. Selfs as u nie in Portugal is nie, kan u 'n paar van hierdie eenvoudige, stewige geregte in u eie kombuis kook vir 'n kulturele kulinêre avontuur. En as u 'n vegetariër is en in 'n restaurant is wat hierdie geregte aanbied, vra sjefs vir vleisvrye weergawes-gasvrye Portugese doen dikwels moeite om versoeke te akkommodeer.

Let wel: Streng vegetariërs moet versigtig wees dat sop en groente algemeen in vis- of hoenderaftreksel gekook word en dat gebak dierlike vet kan bevat.

Caldo Verde, Portugal se kenmerkende sop. Foto met vergunning van Quoi Media.

1) Caldo Verde

Portugees bedien dikwels sop as voorlopers van die hoofmaal of as 'n laat aandete, waarvan die meerderheid vegetariërs is. Die "groen sous" omskep eenvoudige bestanddele in iets buitengewoons in wat volgens baie mense die nasionale gereg is. Hierdie gesonde en stewige sop kombineer aartappels, boerenkool, boerenkool, olyfolie, ui, knoffel en sout tot 'n verrassend lekker gereg. Baie sjefs voeg by linguica of chourico wors teen die einde van die kook, maar vegetariërs kan hierdie stap oorslaan (of die sjef vra).

Of dit nou warm of koud is, die Portugese hou van hul sop, en hierdie maklik om te berei kom gereeld die hele jaar deur. Geniet u sop saam met 'n hoofmaaltyd broa, 'n tradisionele mieliebrood wat deur walvisjagters en vissers aan die kus van New England aan Portugal voorgestel is. Die Portugese bedien dikwels caldo verde by vieringe soos troues, verjaarsdae en die St. John -partytjie in Porto elke Junie.

Migas. Foto met vergunning van Spanianytt.

2) Migas

Broa neem 'n ander vorm aan migas, letterlik vertaal as broodkrummels. Hierdie broodsop word voorberei deur taai, swaar landbrood in klein stukkies te sny, met water besprinkel en met olyfolie en knoffel te braai om knapperige, lekker broodkrummels te vorm. Die basis van hierdie bredie en ander bestanddele wissel in die streek. Sentraal geleë is Beira geneig om 'n mieliebroodbasis te gebruik met gekookte boerenkool, boontjies en rys. Die suidelike Alentejo -streek gebruik 'n koringbroodkrummelbasis met wilde aspersies, tamatie, rooipeperpasta, vars koljander en druppels varkvleis. Aartappels vervang broodkrummels in Alentejo's Migas de Batata.

Boere het migas vir ontbyt geëet as 'n kreatiewe manier om oorskietbrood te hergebruik. Vandag kan u nuutste weergawes vind van huislike tariewe, wat gewoonlik as bykos by restaurante regoor die wêreld bedien word. Dit gesê, die Tex-Mex-kombuis het 'n heeltemal ander idee oor migas, waar repies mielietortillas bedien word met roereier, tamaties in blokkies, chili, kaas en tamaties. Alhoewel dit heerlik is, is die migas wat jy in Austin, Texas kan geniet, heel anders as die Portugese weergawe.

Acorda. Foto met vergunning van Laetiphotos.

3) Acorda

Soos migas, acorda verander die oorblywende brood kreatief, hierdie keer in 'n romerige bredie met 'n risotto-agtige konsekwentheid. Boerebrood word gekook met knoffel, koljander, olyfolie, witwyn en sout totdat dit 'n klonterige pap vorm. Acorda word oral in die land aangetref met boontjies of groente. Sommige mense berei acorda in 'n geurige visop, gooi die gekookte brood met vars gekapte pietersielie en gambas (garnale) - hoewel u 'n vegetariër is, kan u hierdie stap uitlaat - en 'n rou, gekraakte eier roer onmiddellik voor opdiening. Vir 'n verfrissende ervaring, kombineer hierdie kusgereg met 'n skerp streekgereg vinho verde. "Groen wyn" het sy naam gekry van die jeugdige, vars druiwe wat die droë, ligte wyn 'n dowwe groen kleur kan gee.

4) Portugese “Oranje” sop

In kontras met caldo verde, baie herfs/wintersop het 'n oranje basis. Sjefs kan kies uit puree wortel, pampoen, aartappel en ui as basis om 'n dik, oranje sop te vorm. Geroosterde knoffel en soet gebraaide uie komplimenteer gereeld die "soet" rykdom van die pampoen. Om op die basis te bou, voeg die groente soos die naam, by nabiças (boerenkool), espinafres (spinasie), feijão verde (lang groen stringbone) of koppel (kool) en feijão (nierbone).

Tremokos met bier. Foto met vergunning van Blue Shoe.

5) Tremoços

Hierdie groot botterbone is Portugal se gesoute grondboontjiebotter, wat dikwels komplimenteer met u bieraankoop. Om u nie voor u vriende in die kroeg in die verleentheid te stel nie, moet u die boontjie uit die bitter vel verwyder en slegs die binnekant eet.
Tremoços is Portugees vir lupinibone, 'n gewilde versnapering sedert die Romeinse tyd 2 500 jaar gelede toe Hippokrates hul gesondheidsvoordele gebraai het. U hoef nie na die kroeg te gaan om aan tremoços te smul nie- vind hulle in bykans, potte en groot vakuum seëlpakkies op byna elke Portugese mark.

Quijadas/pastéis de feijão met swartbone en klapper. Foto met vergunning van Anamnesiss.

6) Quijadas/pastéis de feijão

In Portugal oorskadu die alomteenwoordige bakkerye dikwels die beskikbaarheid van restaurante. Om net een uit die land van gebakliefhebbers te kies, is 'n uitdaging, maar baie beskou hierdie 19de -eeuse "boontjie -koek" as die land se belangrikste nagereg. 'N Koek wat effens vreemd lyk, is ontwikkel in die stad Torres Vedras en bevat romerige, fenomenale geur. Met eindelose variasies kan hierdie hartige, botterige nagereg wit of rooi boontjiepuree bevat in 'n eiervulsel. Die deeg word gebak tot goudbruin, met strooisuiker besprinkel en soms met amandels bedek. Probeer dit teetyd met 'n energieke koppie Earl Grey of 'n skeut espresso.

Watter van die bogenoemde Portugese geregte sou u as vegetariese kos eet? Het u nog 'n vegetariese gunsteling wat u in Portugal proe het? Deel asseblief in die kommentaar hieronder.

Kyk ook:

The post Hou die varkvleis: Vegetariese-vriendelike vonds in die land van vleis en vis in Portugal verskyn eerste op Epicure & Culture.


Van troeteldiere tot borde: waarom meer mense proefkonies eet

Marsvinse op 'n plaas vir die diere in Puno, Peru, waar hulle as 'n lekkerny beskou word.

U ken die proefkonyn die beste as 'n senuweeagtige klein troeteldier wat in 'n hok woon en lusernpille eet.

Nou verskyn die knaagdiere toenemend op borde in die Verenigde State.

Dit lyk asof Suid -Amerikaanse restaurante aan albei kuste die neiging toeneem en beantwoord meestal die vraag van die Andes -expats vir wat as 'n goeie en waardevolle kos in Ecuador, Peru en Colombia beskou word. Middelklas-eetgoed met 'n voorliefde vir eksotiese lekkernye bestel, fotografeer en blog ook oor proefkonies. Die diere - genoem cuyes in Spaans - word gewoonlik heel gekook, dikwels gebraai, soms diep gebraai. Baie aandete eet elke laaste happie, letterlik van kop tot tone.

Marsvinse op die rooster Met vergunning van Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

Maar daar kan meer baat by die eet van proefkonyn as bizarre voedsel wat spog. Volgens aktiviste is die eet van proefkonyn goed vir die omgewing.

Matt Miller, 'n wetenskapskrywer in Idaho met The Nature Conservancy, sê knaagdiere en ander kleinvee verteenwoordig 'n lae-impak vleis-alternatief vir koolstof-duur beesvleis. Miller, wat 'n boek skryf oor die ekologiese voordele van die eet van onkonvensionele vleis, het Colombia 'n paar jaar gelede besoek. Hy sê destyds dat bewaringsgroepe hul kommer uitspreek oor die plaaslike boere wat bos skoonmaak om weiding vir hul beeste te verskaf - aktiwiteit wat erosie en waterbesoedeling veroorsaak het.

'Hulle het mense aangemoedig om van beeste na proefkonies oor te skakel,' sê Miller. "Proefkonyne benodig nie die grond wat beeste benodig nie. Hulle kan in die agterplaas of in jou huis gehou word. Hulle is sag en maklik om op te voed."

Die Little Rock-gebaseerde humanitêre organisasie Heifer International, wat gemeenskappe help om hul ekonomieë te verbeter en die plaaslike voedselproduksie te stroomlyn, bevorder ook cavia-veeteelt in Peru, Ecuador en Guatemala. Jason Woods, die plaaslike programassistent van die nie -winsgewende organisasie in Amerika, sê proefkonies - wat volgens hom gewoonlik nie meer as 2 pond weeg nie - is twee keer so doeltreffend as koeie om voedsel, soos hooi en komposreste, in vleis te verander: om 'n pond vleis te maak 'n Koei, verduidelik hy, benodig miskien 8 pond voer. 'N Proefkonyn benodig net 4.

Om te help om 'n proefkonynboerdery te begin, voorsien Heifer International gewoonlik 'n gesin van een mannetjie en sewe wyfies. Binne enkele maande het so 'n versameling moontlik verdubbel. Woods sê 'n proefkonyn wat uit twee mannetjies en 20 wyfies bestaan, kan homself onderhou terwyl hy vleis vir 'n gesin van ses kan voorsien.

In die Verenigde State kom die meeste proefkonies wat vir menslike gebruik bedoel is, as geheel uit Peru, bevrore, haarlose knaagdiere in plastieksakke.

The Salt het met verskeie federale regulerende agentskappe in aanraking gekom, waaronder USDA en Fish and Wildlife, maar dit lyk nie of die invoer van proefkonies opgevolg is nie. Ons het egter met die eienaars van twee Peruaanse voedselinvoerders gepraat wat gesê het cuy verbruik in die Verenigde State neem beslis toe. Nie een van hulle sou op rekord praat nie, maar elkeen het gesê dat hulle nou meer proefkonies invoer as ooit tevore.

By een onderneming in Connecticut het die invoer sedert 2008 byna verdubbel - van 600 proefkonies per jaar toe tot meer as 1 000 vandag.

Urubamba, 'n Peruaanse restaurant in Queens, bedien agt jaar gelede glad nie marmot nie. Sedertdien het die vraag elke jaar gestyg, volgens Carlos Atorga, wat Urubamba in 1976 geopen het.

Urubamba -kliënte kan nou verwag cuy ongeveer 'n naweek elke maand op die spyskaart. Die diere kos elk $ 17 per bord cuy soos 'n kreef in die middel gesit en bedien met 'n voorbeen en 'n rug, 'n oog, 'n oor en 'n neusgat.

In San Francisco bedien Diego Oka, 'n boorling van Peru en die uitvoerende sjef van La Mar Cebicheria, ingevoerde Peruaanse cuy elke somer rondom Peru se onafhanklikheidsdag van 28 Julie. Oka marineer en braai sy proefkonies vir 'n gereg wat genoem word lekker chactado. Hy sê die neus, ore en vingerhande is die beste byt van almal - maar Oka verwyder die diere se ledemate om sensitiewe eetplekke aanstoot te gee.

In Los Angeles sê Helen Springut, medestigter van die avontuurlustige eterklub Gastronauts, dat proefkonyn 'n kos is wat net die moeite werd is om as 'n kulturele ervaring te geniet. Sy sê die vleis kan taai en taai wees.

Ek het onlangs 'n kwart van 'n gegrilde marmot geëet tydens 'n fietstoer in Ecuador. Die seningvleis was droog en yl, en ek het honger weggegaan. Maar ander beskryf wat soos 'n ander wese klink.

Miller by The Nature Conservancy sê proefkonyn is 'heerlik, baie sag en moeilik om met iets anders te vergelyk' - selfs nie hoender nie. Sjef Astorga by Urubamba sê cuy - wat hy beskryf as "ongeveer so groot soos 'n eekhoring" - het "sag vlees en baie sag vel." Die sjef Oka van La Mar Cebicheria sê cuy is "baie olierig, soos varkvleis gekombineer met konyn."

Terwyl proefkonyn dalk sterstatus kry as 'n bisarre kos-hou-jou-neus-en-rol-kamera, is dit miskien twyfelagtig of 'n dier wat so gunstig is as 'n troeteldier in die Verenigde State 'n hoofstuk proteïen word. .

'Daar is 'n duidelike kulturele vooroordeel teen die eet van proefkonies en knaagdiere in die algemeen in die Verenigde State,' sê Miller. 'Maar dit is 'n goeie idee om maniere te vind om ons koolstofvoetspoor te verminder, en so eet ook kleinvee, soos proefkonies.'


Van troeteldiere tot borde: waarom meer mense proefkonies eet

Marsvinse op 'n plaas vir die diere in Puno, Peru, waar hulle as 'n lekkerny beskou word.

U ken die proefkonyn die beste as 'n senuweeagtige klein troeteldier wat in 'n hok woon en lusernpille eet.

Nou verskyn die knaagdiere toenemend op borde in die Verenigde State.

Dit lyk asof Suid -Amerikaanse restaurante aan albei kuste die neiging toeneem en beantwoord meestal die vraag van die Andes -expats vir wat as 'n goeie en waardevolle kos in Ecuador, Peru en Colombia beskou word. Middelklas-eetgoed met 'n voorliefde vir eksotiese lekkernye bestel, fotografeer en blog ook oor proefkonies. Die diere - genoem cuyes in Spaans - word gewoonlik heel gekook, dikwels gebraai, soms diep gebraai. Baie aandete eet elke laaste happie, letterlik van kop tot tone.

Marsvinse op die rooster Met vergunning van Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

Maar daar kan meer baat by die eet van proefkonyn as bizarre voedsel wat spog. Volgens aktiviste is die eet van proefkonyn goed vir die omgewing.

Matt Miller, 'n wetenskapskrywer in Idaho by The Nature Conservancy, sê knaagdiere en ander kleinvee verteenwoordig 'n lae-impak vleis-alternatief vir koolstof-duur beesvleis. Miller, wat 'n boek skryf oor die ekologiese voordele van die eet van onkonvensionele vleis, het Colombia 'n paar jaar gelede besoek. Hy sê destyds dat bewaringsgroepe hul kommer uitspreek oor die plaaslike boere wat bos skoonmaak om weiding vir hul beeste te verskaf - aktiwiteit wat erosie en waterbesoedeling veroorsaak het.

'Hulle het mense aangemoedig om van beeste na proefkonies oor te skakel,' sê Miller. "Proefkonyne benodig nie die grond wat beeste benodig nie. Hulle kan in die agterplaas of in jou huis gehou word. Hulle is sag en maklik om groot te maak."

Die Little Rock-gebaseerde humanitêre organisasie Heifer International, wat gemeenskappe help om hul ekonomie te verbeter en die plaaslike voedselproduksie te stroomlyn, bevorder ook proefkonijnen in Peru, Ecuador en Guatemala. Jason Woods, die plaaslike programassistent van die nie -winsgewende organisasie in Amerika, sê proefkonies - wat volgens hom gewoonlik nie meer as 2 pond weeg nie - is twee keer so doeltreffend as koeie om voedsel, soos hooi en komposreste, in vleis te verander: om 'n pond vleis te maak 'n Koei, verduidelik hy, benodig miskien 8 pond voer. 'N Proefkonyn benodig net 4.

Om te help om 'n proefkonynboerdery te begin, voorsien Heifer International gewoonlik 'n gesin van een mannetjie en sewe wyfies. Binne enkele maande het so 'n versameling moontlik verdubbel. Woods sê 'n proefkonyn wat uit twee mannetjies en 20 wyfies bestaan, kan homself onderhou terwyl hy vleis vir 'n gesin van ses kan voorsien.

In die Verenigde State kom die meeste proefkonies wat vir menslike gebruik bedoel is, uit Peru as geheel, bevrore, haarlose knaagdiere in plastieksakke.

The Salt het met verskeie federale regulerende agentskappe in aanraking gekom, waaronder USDA en Fish and Wildlife, maar dit lyk nie of die invoer van proefkonies opgevolg is nie. Ons het egter met die eienaars van twee Peruaanse voedselinvoerders gepraat wat gesê het cuy verbruik in die Verenigde State neem beslis toe. Nie een van hulle het op rekord gepraat nie, maar elkeen het gesê dat hulle nou meer proefkonies invoer as ooit tevore.

By een onderneming in Connecticut het die invoer sedert 2008 byna verdubbel - van 600 proefkonies per jaar toe tot meer as 1 000 vandag.

Urubamba, 'n Peruaanse restaurant in Queens, bedien agt jaar gelede glad nie marmot nie. Sedertdien het die vraag elke jaar gestyg, volgens Carlos Atorga, wat Urubamba in 1976 geopen het.

Urubamba -kliënte kan nou verwag cuy ongeveer 'n naweek elke maand op die spyskaart. Die diere kos elk $ 17 per bord cuy soos 'n kreef in die middel gesit en bedien met 'n voorbeen en 'n rug, 'n oog, 'n oor en 'n neusgat.

In San Francisco bedien Diego Oka, 'n boorling van Peru en die uitvoerende sjef van La Mar Cebicheria, ingevoerde Peruaanse cuy elke somer rondom Peru se onafhanklikheidsdag van 28 Julie. Oka marineer en braai sy proefkonies vir 'n gereg wat genoem word lekker chactado. Hy sê die neus, ore en vingerhande is die beste byt van almal - maar Oka verwyder die diere se ledemate om sensitiewe eetplekke aanstoot te gee.

In Los Angeles sê Helen Springut, medestigter van die avontuurlike etersklub Gastronauts, dat proefkonyn 'n voedsel is wat net die moeite werd is om as 'n kulturele ervaring te geniet. Sy sê die vleis kan taai en taai wees.

Ek het onlangs 'n kwart van 'n gegrilde marmot geëet tydens 'n fietstoer in Ecuador. Die seningvleis was droog en yl, en ek het honger weggegaan. Maar ander beskryf wat soos 'n ander wese klink.

Miller by The Nature Conservancy sê proefkonyn is 'heerlik, baie sag en moeilik om met iets anders te vergelyk' - selfs nie hoender nie. Sjef Astorga by Urubamba sê cuy - wat hy beskryf as "ongeveer so groot soos 'n eekhoring" - het "sag vlees en baie sag vel." Die sjef Oka van La Mar Cebicheria sê cuy is "baie olierig, soos vark in kombinasie met konyn."

Terwyl proefkonyn dalk sterstatus kry as 'n bisarre kos-hou-jou-neus-en-rol-kamera, is dit miskien twyfelagtig of 'n dier wat so gunstig is as 'n troeteldier in die Verenigde State 'n hoofstuk proteïen word. .

"Daar is 'n duidelike kulturele vooroordeel teen die eet van proefkonies en knaagdiere in die algemeen in die Verenigde State," sê Miller. "Maar dit is 'n goeie idee om maniere te vind om ons koolstofvoetspoor te verminder, en so eet ook kleinvee, soos proefkonies."


Van troeteldiere tot borde: waarom meer mense proefkonies eet

Marsvinse op 'n plaas vir die diere in Puno, Peru, waar hulle as 'n lekkerny beskou word.

U ken die proefkonyn die beste as 'n senuweeagtige klein troeteldier wat in 'n hok woon en lusernpille eet.

Nou verskyn die knaagdiere toenemend op borde in die Verenigde State.

Dit lyk asof Suid -Amerikaanse restaurante aan albei kuste die neiging toeneem en beantwoord meestal die vraag van die Andes -expats vir wat as 'n goeie en waardevolle kos in Ecuador, Peru en Colombia beskou word. Middelklas-eetgoed met 'n voorliefde vir eksotiese lekkernye bestel, fotografeer en blog ook oor proefkonies. Die diere - genoem cuyes in Spaans - word gewoonlik heel gekook, dikwels gebraai, soms diep gebraai. Baie aandete eet elke laaste happie, letterlik van kop tot tone.

Marsvinse op die rooster Met vergunning van Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

Maar daar kan meer baat by die eet van proefkonyn as bizarre voedsel wat spog. Volgens aktiviste is die eet van proefkonyn goed vir die omgewing.

Matt Miller, 'n wetenskapskrywer in Idaho met The Nature Conservancy, sê knaagdiere en ander kleinvee verteenwoordig 'n lae-impak vleis-alternatief vir koolstof-duur beesvleis. Miller, wat 'n boek skryf oor die ekologiese voordele van die eet van onkonvensionele vleis, het Colombia 'n paar jaar gelede besoek. Hy sê destyds dat bewaringsgroepe hul kommer uitgespreek het oor die plaaslike boere wat bos skoonmaak om weiding vir hul beeste te verskaf - aktiwiteit wat erosie en waterbesoedeling veroorsaak het.

'Hulle het mense aangemoedig om van beeste na proefkonies oor te skakel,' sê Miller. "Proefkonyne benodig nie die grond wat beeste benodig nie. Hulle kan in die agterplaas of in jou huis gehou word. Hulle is sag en maklik om groot te maak."

Die Little Rock-gebaseerde humanitêre organisasie Heifer International, wat gemeenskappe help om hul ekonomie te verbeter en die plaaslike voedselproduksie te stroomlyn, bevorder ook proefkonijnen in Peru, Ecuador en Guatemala. Jason Woods, die plaaslike programassistent van die nie -winsgewende organisasie in Amerika, sê proefkonies - wat volgens hom gewoonlik nie meer as 2 pond weeg nie - is twee keer so doeltreffend as koeie om voedsel, soos hooi en komposreste, in vleis te verander: om 'n pond vleis te maak 'n Koei, verduidelik hy, benodig miskien 8 pond voer. 'N Proefkonyn benodig net 4.

Om te help om 'n proefkonynboerdery te begin, voorsien Heifer International gewoonlik 'n gesin van een mannetjie en sewe wyfies. Binne enkele maande het so 'n versameling moontlik verdubbel. Woods sê 'n proefkonyn wat uit twee mannetjies en 20 wyfies bestaan, kan homself onderhou terwyl hy vleis vir 'n gesin van ses kan voorsien.

In die Verenigde State kom die meeste proefkonies wat vir menslike gebruik bedoel is, as geheel uit Peru, bevrore, haarlose knaagdiere in plastieksakke.

The Salt het met verskeie federale regulerende agentskappe in verbinding getree, waaronder USDA en Fish and Wildlife, maar dit lyk nie asof die invoer van proefkonies opgevolg is nie. Ons het egter met die eienaars van twee Peruaanse voedselinvoerders gepraat wat gesê het cuy verbruik in die Verenigde State neem beslis toe. Nie een van hulle het op rekord gepraat nie, maar elkeen het gesê dat hulle nou meer proefkonies invoer as ooit tevore.

By een onderneming in Connecticut het die invoer sedert 2008 byna verdubbel - van 600 proefkonies per jaar toe tot meer as 1 000 vandag.

Urubamba, 'n Peruaanse restaurant in Queens, bedien agt jaar gelede glad nie marmot nie. Sedertdien het die vraag elke jaar gestyg, volgens Carlos Atorga, wat Urubamba in 1976 geopen het.

Urubamba -kliënte kan nou verwag cuy ongeveer 'n naweek elke maand op die spyskaart. Die diere kos elk $ 17 per bord cuy soos 'n kreef in die middel gesit en bedien met 'n voorbeen en 'n rug, 'n oog, 'n oor en 'n neusgat.

In San Francisco bedien Diego Oka, 'n boorling van Peru en die uitvoerende sjef van La Mar Cebicheria, ingevoerde Peruaanse cuy elke somer rondom Peru se onafhanklikheidsdag van 28 Julie. Oka marineer en braai sy proefkonies vir 'n gereg wat genoem word lekker chactado. Hy sê die neus, ore en vingerhande is die beste byt van almal - maar Oka verwyder die diere se ledemate om sensitiewe eetplekke aanstoot te gee.

In Los Angeles sê Helen Springut, medestigter van die avontuurlike etersklub Gastronauts, dat proefkonyn 'n voedsel is wat net die moeite werd is om as 'n kulturele ervaring te geniet. Sy sê die vleis kan taai en taai wees.

Ek het onlangs 'n kwart van 'n gegrilde marmot geëet tydens 'n fietstoer in Ecuador. Die seningvleis was droog en yl, en ek het honger weggegaan. Maar ander beskryf wat soos 'n ander wese klink.

Miller by The Nature Conservancy sê proefkonyn is 'heerlik, baie sag en moeilik om met iets anders te vergelyk' - selfs nie hoender nie. Sjef Astorga by Urubamba sê cuy - wat hy beskryf as "ongeveer so groot soos 'n eekhoring" - het "sag vlees en baie sag vel." Die sjef Oka van La Mar Cebicheria sê cuy is "baie olierig, soos varkvleis gekombineer met konyn."

Terwyl proefkonyn dalk sterstatus kry as 'n bisarre voedsel-hou-jou-neus-en-rol-kamera, is dit miskien twyfelagtig of 'n dier wat so gunstig is as 'n troeteldier in die Verenigde State 'n hoofstuk proteïen word. .

'Daar is 'n duidelike kulturele vooroordeel teen die eet van proefkonies en knaagdiere in die algemeen in die Verenigde State,' sê Miller. "Maar dit is 'n goeie idee om maniere te vind om ons koolstofvoetspoor te verminder, en so eet ook kleinvee, soos proefkonies."


Van troeteldiere tot borde: waarom meer mense proefkonies eet

Marsvinse op 'n plaas vir die diere in Puno, Peru, waar hulle as 'n lekkerny beskou word.

U ken die marmot die beste as 'n senuweeagtige klein troeteldier wat in 'n hok woon en lusernpille eet.

Nou verskyn die knaagdiere toenemend op borde in die Verenigde State.

Dit lyk asof Suid -Amerikaanse restaurante aan albei kuste die neiging toeneem en beantwoord meestal die vraag van die Andes -expats vir wat as 'n goeie en waardevolle kos in Ecuador, Peru en Colombia beskou word. Middelklas-eetgoed met 'n voorliefde vir eksotiese lekkernye bestel, fotografeer en blog ook oor proefkonies. Die diere - genoem cuyes in Spaans - word gewoonlik heel gekook, dikwels gebraai, soms diep gebraai. Baie aandete eet elke laaste happie, letterlik van kop tot tone.

Marsvinse op die rooster Met vergunning van Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

Maar daar kan meer baat by die eet van proefkonyn as bizarre voedsel wat spog. Volgens aktiviste is die eet van proefkonyn goed vir die omgewing.

Matt Miller, 'n wetenskapskrywer in Idaho met The Nature Conservancy, sê knaagdiere en ander kleinvee verteenwoordig 'n lae-impak vleis-alternatief vir koolstof-duur beesvleis. Miller, wat 'n boek skryf oor die ekologiese voordele van die eet van onkonvensionele vleis, het Colombia 'n paar jaar gelede besoek. Hy sê destyds dat bewaringsgroepe hul kommer uitspreek oor die plaaslike boere wat bos skoonmaak om weiding vir hul beeste te verskaf - aktiwiteit wat erosie en waterbesoedeling veroorsaak het.

'Hulle het mense aangemoedig om van beeste na proefkonies oor te skakel,' sê Miller. "Proefkonyne benodig nie die grond wat beeste benodig nie. Hulle kan in die agterplaas of in jou huis gehou word. Hulle is sag en maklik om op te voed."

Die Little Rock-gebaseerde humanitêre organisasie Heifer International, wat gemeenskappe help om hul ekonomieë te verbeter en die plaaslike voedselproduksie te stroomlyn, bevorder ook cavia-veeteelt in Peru, Ecuador en Guatemala. Jason Woods, die plaaslike programassistent van die nie -winsgewende organisasie in Amerika, sê proefkonies - wat volgens hom gewoonlik nie meer as 2 pond weeg nie - is twee keer so doeltreffend as koeie om voedsel, soos hooi en komposreste, in vleis te verander: om 'n pond vleis te maak 'n Koei, verduidelik hy, benodig miskien 8 pond voer. 'N Proefkonyn benodig net 4.

Om te help om 'n proefkonynboerdery te begin, voorsien Heifer International gewoonlik 'n gesin van een mannetjie en sewe wyfies. Binne enkele maande het so 'n versameling moontlik verdubbel. Woods sê 'n proefkonyn wat uit twee mannetjies en 20 wyfies bestaan, kan homself onderhou terwyl hy vleis vir 'n gesin van ses kan voorsien.

In die Verenigde State kom die meeste proefkonies wat vir menslike gebruik bedoel is, as geheel uit Peru, bevrore, haarlose knaagdiere in plastieksakke.

The Salt het met verskeie federale regulerende agentskappe in verbinding getree, waaronder USDA en Fish and Wildlife, maar dit lyk nie asof die invoer van proefkonies opgevolg is nie. Ons het egter met die eienaars van twee Peruaanse voedselinvoerders gepraat wat gesê het cuy verbruik in die Verenigde State neem beslis toe. Nie een van hulle het op rekord gepraat nie, maar elkeen het gesê dat hulle nou meer proefkonies invoer as ooit tevore.

By een onderneming in Connecticut het die invoer sedert 2008 byna verdubbel - van 600 proefkonies per jaar toe tot meer as 1 000 vandag.

Urubamba, 'n Peruaanse restaurant in Queens, bedien agt jaar gelede glad nie marmot nie. Sedertdien het die vraag elke jaar gestyg, volgens Carlos Atorga, wat Urubamba in 1976 geopen het.

Urubamba -kliënte kan nou verwag cuy ongeveer 'n naweek elke maand op die spyskaart. Die diere kos elk $ 17 per bord cuy soos 'n kreef in die middel gesit en bedien met 'n voorbeen en 'n rug, 'n oog, 'n oor en 'n neusgat.

In San Francisco bedien Diego Oka, 'n boorling van Peru en die uitvoerende sjef van La Mar Cebicheria, ingevoerde Peruaanse cuy elke somer rondom Peru se onafhanklikheidsdag van 28 Julie. Oka marineer en braai sy proefkonies vir 'n gereg wat genoem word lekker chactado. Hy sê die neus, ore en vingerhande is die beste byt van almal - maar Oka verwyder die diere se ledemate om sensitiewe eetplekke aanstoot te gee.

In Los Angeles sê Helen Springut, medestigter van die avontuurlustige eterklub Gastronauts, dat proefkonyn 'n kos is wat net die moeite werd is om as 'n kulturele ervaring te geniet. Sy sê die vleis kan taai en taai wees.

Ek het onlangs 'n kwart van 'n gegrilde marmot geëet tydens 'n fietstoer in Ecuador. Die seningvleis was droog en yl, en ek het honger weggegaan. Maar ander beskryf wat soos 'n ander wese klink.

Miller by The Nature Conservancy sê proefkonyn is 'heerlik, baie sag en moeilik om met iets anders te vergelyk' - selfs nie hoender nie. Sjef Astorga by Urubamba sê cuy - wat hy beskryf as "ongeveer so groot soos 'n eekhoring" - het "sag vlees en baie sag vel." Die sjef Oka van La Mar Cebicheria sê cuy is "baie olierig, soos varkvleis gekombineer met konyn."

Terwyl proefkonyn dalk sterstatus kry as 'n bisarre kos-hou-jou-neus-en-rol-kamera, is dit miskien twyfelagtig of 'n dier wat so gunstig is as 'n troeteldier in die Verenigde State 'n hoofstuk proteïen word. .

"Daar is 'n duidelike kulturele vooroordeel teen die eet van proefkonies en knaagdiere in die algemeen in die Verenigde State," sê Miller. 'Maar dit is 'n goeie idee om maniere te vind om ons koolstofvoetspoor te verminder, en so eet ook kleinvee, soos proefkonies.'


Van troeteldiere tot borde: waarom meer mense proefkonies eet

Marsvinse op 'n plaas vir die diere in Puno, Peru, waar hulle as 'n lekkerny beskou word.

U ken die proefkonyn die beste as 'n senuweeagtige klein troeteldier wat in 'n hok woon en lusernpille eet.

Nou verskyn die knaagdiere toenemend op borde in die Verenigde State.

Dit lyk asof Suid -Amerikaanse restaurante aan albei kuste die neiging toeneem en beantwoord meestal die vraag van die Andes -expats vir wat as 'n goeie en waardevolle kos in Ecuador, Peru en Colombia beskou word. Middelklas-eetgoed met 'n voorliefde vir eksotiese lekkernye bestel, fotografeer en blog ook oor proefkonies. Die diere - genoem cuyes in Spaans - word gewoonlik heel gekook, dikwels gebraai, soms diep gebraai. Baie aandete eet elke laaste happie, letterlik van kop tot tone.

Marsvinse op die rooster Met vergunning van Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

Maar daar kan meer baat by die eet van proefkonyn as bizarre voedsel wat spog. Volgens aktiviste is die eet van proefkonyn goed vir die omgewing.

Matt Miller, 'n wetenskapskrywer in Idaho met The Nature Conservancy, sê knaagdiere en ander kleinvee verteenwoordig 'n lae-impak vleis-alternatief vir koolstof-duur beesvleis. Miller, wat 'n boek skryf oor die ekologiese voordele van die eet van onkonvensionele vleis, het Colombia 'n paar jaar gelede besoek. Hy sê destyds dat bewaringsgroepe hul kommer uitspreek oor die plaaslike boere wat bos skoonmaak om weiding vir hul beeste te verskaf - aktiwiteit wat erosie en waterbesoedeling veroorsaak het.

'Hulle het mense aangemoedig om van beeste na proefkonies oor te skakel,' sê Miller. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They're docile and easy to raise."

The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. A guinea pig only needs 4.

To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six.

In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags.

The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before.

At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today.

Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976.

Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril.

In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners.

In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. She says the meat can be tough and stringy.

I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. But others describe what sounds like a different creature.

Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit."

While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful.

"There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs."


From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy.

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe.

Guinea pigs on the grill Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment.

Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution.

"They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They're docile and easy to raise."

The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. A guinea pig only needs 4.

To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six.

In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags.

The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before.

At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today.

Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976.

Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril.

In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners.

In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. She says the meat can be tough and stringy.

I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. But others describe what sounds like a different creature.

Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit."

While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful.

"There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs."


From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy.

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe.

Guinea pigs on the grill Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment.

Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution.

"They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They're docile and easy to raise."

The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. A guinea pig only needs 4.

To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six.

In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags.

The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before.

At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today.

Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976.

Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril.

In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners.

In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. She says the meat can be tough and stringy.

I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. But others describe what sounds like a different creature.

Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit."

While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful.

"There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs."


From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy.

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe.

Guinea pigs on the grill Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment.

Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution.

"They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They're docile and easy to raise."

The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. A guinea pig only needs 4.

To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six.

In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags.

The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before.

At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today.

Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976.

Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril.

In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners.

In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. She says the meat can be tough and stringy.

I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. But others describe what sounds like a different creature.

Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit."

While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful.

"There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs."


From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy.

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe.

Guinea pigs on the grill Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment.

Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution.

"They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They're docile and easy to raise."

The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. A guinea pig only needs 4.

To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six.

In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags.

The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before.

At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today.

Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976.

Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril.

In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners.

In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. She says the meat can be tough and stringy.

I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. But others describe what sounds like a different creature.

Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit."

While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful.

"There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs."


From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy.

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe.

Guinea pigs on the grill Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo steek onderskrif weg

But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment.

Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution.

"They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They're docile and easy to raise."

The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. A guinea pig only needs 4.

To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six.

In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags.

The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before.

At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today.

Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976.

Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril.

In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners.

In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. She says the meat can be tough and stringy.

I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. But others describe what sounds like a different creature.

Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit."

While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful.

"There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs."


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