I remember the first time I ate tripa—Italian for cow guts. We were in Sicily and had been invited to a restaurant on top of a mountain that overlooked rolling farmlands. I was eight, so when the tripa was placed in front of me, I decided to go for it. Today, I’m definitely sure I would say no thank you, but I wouldn’t call someone “unacceptable” for indulging in a dish that is popular in many ethnicities.
On Reddit, one OP is wondering if they violated some kind of unspoken neighborhood guideline by cooking a traditional food from his home country—guinea pig.
Seems like cooking guinea pig upset his new neighbors, but it’s possible they might just be ignorant of other cultural practices.
“My family and I recently moved house and are in a nicer neighborhood (we live in the southern US). Last week we had some good fortune and decided to celebrate with a BBQ party (don’t worry, no one from outside our covid bubble was invited). One of the traditional foods where I am from is whole cuy roasted over an open flame. While it is a cheap street food back home, here in the US it is expensive af so we don’t eat it often. Since we were celebrating though, I decided to dig the cuy we had out of the deep freezer and cooked about 10 of them on our BBQ,” the OP writes.
“At some point my neighbor’s kid wandered over to play with my kids. No big deal, until she saw the BBQ. She said ‘ewww what’s that?’ and then my son told her it was guinea pig. Neighbor’s daughter started crying and ran off home. I felt bad about how upset she was, so the next day I knocked on their door to check up on her and offer my apologies. The neighbor who I was previously on good terms with called me a creep and slammed the door in my face. Other neighbors have been giving me dirty looks when I walk our dog. Someone has even left a note on my front door that basically said, ‘Your behavior is unacceptable for this neighborhood.’ I feel terrible, but was I really the asshole here?”
What do Redditors think?
“NTA. It’s still meat, even if it goes against cultural norms in America. People will be horrified at the idea of eating a guinea pig but will eat smarter animals without batting an eye. I’ve had the same thing happen while cooking rabbits and having people react negatively. Your neighbour’s kid wandered in your garden, it’s not as if you’re shoving it in their faces. They’re allowed to be creeped out but it should remain private. It could have been a great teaching moment for her parents. Instead, they seem to have forgotten that the US is supposed to be a melting pot. Unfortunately, you’re now gonna be known in your neighborhood as the weird guy who roasts pets,” observed FunkyOrangePenguin.
“NTA. Your neighbors are ignorant to the fact that there are different cultures that eat guinea pig. You did right by going over to see if the little girl was okay,” said Commercial_Pride_825.
“As someone who owns three guinea pigs and and loves them like children, NTA. You’re allowed to do what you want on your own property as long as it’s legal and not hurting anyone else. For their part, the neighbors have every right to be upset at seeing what they consider a pet being barbecued, but they still have no right to hassle you over it. Personally I’d be horrified, but that’s my problem, not yours,” said NinjaDefenestrator.
“NTA – Different cultures find different things acceptable to eat not to eat. In parts of India, it’s unacceptable to eat Cow, but we do it here in the states. Some eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism find eating any kind of flesh unacceptable. Unfortunately you live in a neighborhood with people who are uncultured and don’t care to understand things beyond their front door,” said DarkRogus.
“Cuy is delicious. My grandmother used to bring them from her hometown. Man I miss those meals. For sure, it will seem weird to other cultures (for them is like eating cats or dogs) but they can’t measure with their own values other cultures. So go eat those cuyes without remorse! I get the kid being traumatized, when I was a kid I ate duck (arroz con pato, they told me it was arroz con pollo). When I found out I cried because I believed I ate Donald Duck (I loved Donald Duck as a kid). But it is the role of the parent to explain those things, not yours,” explained haitechan.
“I’m vegan and to me, meat is meat. It all comes from animals, I don’t get why people get so hypocritical about this. Are you going to complain if she’s eating lamb or chicken wings? NTA,” said Pasdepromesses.
What do you think?
Lead image: Pixabay