Putting savoury stuff in a dessert isn’t exactly cutting edge. Ever since The Fat Duck decided to turn a full English fry up into ice cream, loads of chefs have had a stab at freezing all kinds of weird things. It shouldn’t really shock us anymore. However, it turns out that there is a place that has taken provocative ice cream combinations to heights that even Heston would think twice about scaling. Brace yourselves, food fans. You can now get guinea pig ice cream.
On the outskirts of the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, one ice cream parlour has taken a South American specialty and converted it into a sweet treat that should be approached with caution. Alongside slightly more orthodox offerings of passionfruit and pineapple, ice cream expert María del Carmen Pilapaña creates 150 servings of guinea pig ice cream every single day, before selling them for $1 a cone.
In order to produce the unusual offering, Pilapaña roasts guinea pig flesh, shredding the meat until it reaches a consistency similar to pate. This brawny paste is then infused in a mixture of milk and cream, before being churned and frozen. The final flavour is, by all accounts, comparable to chicken.
As unconscionable as it might be to some to imagine a beloved family pet being turned into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, the concept is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Guinea pig is actually a popular delicacy all over South America, regularly eaten roasted and served alongside peanuts. Turning it into an ice cream might be slightly more radical, but the ingredient itself is relatively common place. Just don’t tell Pets at Home.
Although Pilapaña’s furry frozen food certainly steals the headlines at her ice cream stall, it’s far from the only unusual flavour on offer. In addition to guinea pig, her menu features beetle and mushroom ice creams, and she has ambitions to include ingredients like crab, chicken and pork in the future. Heston, eat your heart out.