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Americans are consuming more guinea pig than ever before

Peruvian importers say the demand has never been higher – possibly from the ex-pat South American community in the USA.

Image: Karel Navarro/AP/Press Association Images

ACCORDING TO A new report in NPR’s The Salt, guinea pigs — a popular childhood pet — are becoming more popular as a restaurant dish in the US.

The rodents are a popular delicacy in South America, where they are known as cuyes and consumed in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.

But it’s finding popularity on US menus thanks to an influx of expats from those countries who crave the dish, The Salt reports.

Also helping the guinea pig’s case on US menus — the tiny livestock is a low-carbon footprint source of meat as compared to beef, a major plus with environmentalists. And the introduction of the dish is well-timed with an explosion in America’s experimental foodie culture.

Two Peruvian food importers told The Salt that they are importing more guinea pigs than ever before. The rodents are sold frozen and hairless, and usually eaten whole after being cooked, grilled, or deep fried.

People who have tried it say the meat tastes like a cross between chicken and duck, and is both chewy and greasy.

Read the full NPR report here.

- Megan Willett

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