Cavia porcellus is a small mammal, peculiar from the Andean countries, it is Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia.
The guinea pigs, corresponds scientifically to Cavia porcellus. Is a small mammal, peculiar from the Andean countries, it is Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. Its body is wide and hair covered that can be limp, bristly or close to the body forming swirls, in different colours. Its head is also wide and big comparing to its body, the eras are rounded and small, it has short legs with fine fingers at the end and in variable number.
• Kingdom : Animal
• Subkingdom : Metazoary
• Phylum : Vertebrated
• Class : Mammals
• Order : Rodentia
• Family : Cavidae
• Gender : Cavia
• Species : Cavia porcellus
There are guinea pigs from ancient cultures, being exhibited in the Peruvian museums, representing this rodent , what shows its old an Andean origin, such as its connivance with human. Guinean pigs stool have been found in pre- inca human settlement and bones of this animal, together with the human rests.
There exist “creoles” guinea pigs, who are small and with low meat performance, because of familiar breed where mating is not controlled, and strains, genetically improved, with early growth living more meat.
In Peru, the guinea pig breed is familiar, and there are very few technified farms for this specie, that lastly has become one of the main characters in the national gastronomy, and in export for other countries where its is highly requested by the Peruvian colonies.
It is highly adaptable, because can be found at sea level or in the higher places of our mountains. In the mountains it is usual to see them under kitchens consuming the rests of vegetables and other items that the housewife gives them at the time she generates. In this system, the protein consumer is provided in a saving method.
The guinea pig meat is so appreciated because of its taste and the quality of its protein. It can be cooked in a lot of different ways: fried, stewed, oven, aromatic herbs stuffed and so on. In our country the consumption of guinea pig meat is dated from immemorial times but nowadays it is restricted to special days, not for massive consumption. One of the factors causing this restriction is the price. A gutted guinea pig, of around 800 gram, can cost in the supermarket 6 dollar, while chicken meat can cost around 2 dollar. In a folkloric way, when some is frightened it is recommended to rub with a guinea pig. Then this animal is slaughtered and some can tell the person what happened by observing the viscera.
In other countries, it has become a pet, as a cat or a dog. On this purpose, in my last tri to Cusco, I was having dinner with a friend, exactly a guinea pig and suddenly we realized that an American tourist was recording us as weird and wild people eating a poor pet.