There was very little meat, and it tasted somewhat similar to the dark meat of chicken, gamey like duck or rabbit. The meat was fatty and stringy at times. I had to pick it off the little ribs, and the skin was crunchy, with parts of it thicker with a chewy, almost rubbery, texture.I was reminded of The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O’Brian, the 16th volume in the Aubrey-Maturin series, in which Dr. Maturin sets out on a perilous mission through the Peruvian Andes. The account of guinea pig is even less appealing there:
Three times that day, and at ever-increasing heights, they had left their mules in the hope of a partridge or a guanaco, and three times they had caught up with the llamas not indeed empty-handed, since Stephen carried a beetle or a low-growing plant for the pack of the animal that carried their collections, but without any sort of game, which meant that their supper would be fried guinea-pig and dried potatoes once more; and each time Eduardo had said that this was a strange, unaccountable year, with weather that made no sense and with animals abandoning customs and territories that had remained unchanged since before the days of Pachacutic Inca.A few pages later, Maturin suggests shooting a vicuña for food, observing to his companion, “You yourself said that you were tired of fried guinea-pig and ham.” Eduardo quietly confirms this in a little while, when Maturin says he would like to dissect an unusual bird they have just bagged.
‘That would mean fried guinea-pig again,’ observed Eduardo.The two eventually arrive at a Catholic mission, but the priests are nonplussed at having little to offer their guests. “Well,” says one at last, “there may be a few guinea-pigs left in the scriptorium.” One would think that O’Brian has exhausted the subject, yet his final unfinished novel (published under the title 21) features “a formal dinner given by an Argentine grandee, which includes lobster in a bitter chocolate sauce and 70 freshly harvested guinea pigs.”