The Strangest National Foods of the World — Brazil

  • Capybara, Brazil

While cooks in Peru and Ecuador are busy serving guinea pig—the meekest of all rodents, known locally as cuy—Brazilians grill up their larger, meaner cousins. Adult capybaras can grow to four feet in length and weigh 140 pounds. The meat is usually marinated with crushed garlic, onions, pepper, bay leaf, and vinegar for five hours, and served up as a sort of casserole. Capybara is popular in part because of the Catholic Church’s directive to skip meat on Friday. When European missionaries first encountered the capybara in the 16th century, they classified it as a fish.

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