If you like meat and visit Peru without trying a good cuy chactado, llama charqui or alpaca anticuchos, then you have sinned!
These tasty and traditional meats are also healthy and were an important part of the diet of our ancestors. In this brief article, we share what makes each of these Andean meat staples a must-try during your visit to Peru.
Although alpaca is not widely sold, it is very popular in Cusco and Puno. Recommended for its low fat content, it can be used in pesque (a dish of quinoa, cheese, and eggs popular in Puno, Peru), fried, or in a good roast.
On the Andean plateau, llama meat is usually dried in the sun to preserve it. To this day it is an important source of protein. You should also try olluco (a root vegetable) with charqui (jerky) and rice, a nourishing daily classic.
Guinea pig has a delicate flavor—something between rabbit and chicken—has very little fat and is highly nutritious. Different areas prepare it differently, and in each town the chactado, or stew, is distinctive. Today, you can find it on the menus of the most exclusive restaurants. Although, in its classic form it is served whole—head, teeth, and all. If eaten correctly, at the end of the meal, there’s nothing left on the plate.
Fun Fact: Guinea pigs have become good business for the women who rear them, enabling them to support their families and contribute to their communities, particularly now that their meat is considered a delicacy in sophisticated restaurants listed as some of the best in the world.
Credit: Ultimate Journeys
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