Check cuy off the gastronomic list! Cuy, pronounced like coo-ee, is an Andean delicacy that we missed trying in Peru on our 2006 trip. Cuy can be charcoal roasted (as we had) or baked. What is cuy? Most people know it as guinea pig. Forget that Sherri once had a pet guinea pig named Ginger. The Andean guinea pigs are born to become part of special celebrations, like holiday dinners. Cuy is delicious! Joe thinks it tastes like really sweet chicken and Sherri thinks it tastes a lot like dove.
Two Who Trek went on a road trip that was part of our Cuenca program. Teachers from the Simon Bolivar Spanish language school and others were our gracious and informative guides. First stop, lunch at the “food court” in Gualaceo. Other regional offerings at the market included roasted hog, mole or whole white corn kernel hominy, local potatoes, carrots and onions. As it was Sunday, cola replaced the traditional beer or cerveza.
Next stop, the Farmer’s Market. Bananas, mangos and pineapple can become heavy quickly. For 50 cents, reinforced plastic shopping bags are available in many bright colors, from nearly every market vendor. The two new bags filled quickly with onions, potatoes and other delectable discoveries. Market day is a family affair with babies to great grandparents in attendance.
Next we stopped into a taverna near the town church for a brief refreshment of local juices in a extra special recipe. Because our guide knew the proprietor, we were privileged to get a tour of the proprietor’s 200-year old home above the taverna.
Back on the bus, we headed for Chordeleg. This town is known for silver filagree jewelry and many stores around the main square offer lovely examples for purchase. TWT enjoyed looking at the workmanship, but purchased only a leather coin purse.
A lovely day in Ecuador, until panic raised it’s ugly head. This is the day before New Year’s Eve and we don’t have our monigote!