Monday, December 18, 2017

Pig Road, Cuenca, Ecuador

I have eyes like those of a dead pig. 
-- Marlon Brando

We lived around the corner from Pig Road in Ecuador, Cuenca. Actually we were around the corner from Avenida Don Bosco but it may as well have been named Pig Road. When asked where we lived, the conversation often went something like this:

New friend: Where do you live?
Us: Near Don Bosco and Francisco de Orellena.
NF: Is that near Pig Road?
Us: Yes, Don Bosco is Pig Road!

A long section of Don Bosco is known for pork restaurants. A look a couple of restaurant entrances helps explain the nick name.

Restaurant Picanteria Crespo, Avenida Don Bosco, Cuenca

Restaurant Picanteria Doña Margarita, Avenida Don Bosco, Cuenca

Each restaurant roasts a daily pig, crisps the skin with a butane torch and displays the pig on the sidewalk, slicing off crisp skin and meat as it is ordered. Sides include corn, potatoes and a variety of vegetables. Pork stew is also a tasty option.

Roasted pig on the right has had some glazed skin sliced from it

Restaurants often offer samples to pedestrians walking past. Heads up! If you prefer not to eat guinea pig, ask what the sample is before eating it. These restaurants roast guinea pigs (cuy) as well as standard pigs (cerdo).

If you are interested in trying guinea pig, order cuy and you receive the entire roasted animal.

Roast Cuy (guinea pig)

To be honest, I have never tried cuy and probably will not. I am unable to get beyond thoughts of a guinea pig I pet sat for years ago. My friends who have tried it say it tastes a bit like gamey chicken (of course it is chicken, right? Everything tastes like chicken). Some tell me it is greasy and some say it is dry so I suppose it depends on who prepared it. Several people told me Pig Road is a great location for cuy so give it a try while there.

Avenida Don Bosco

Have you ever tried guinea pig (cuy)?

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