Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix have no fear, at least not when it comes to trying unusual new foods! The Vanderpump Rules costars happily snacked on some guinea pig, which is considered a delicacy in Peru, during an episode of Thrillist’s Acquired Taste series posted to Facebook on Monday, June 15.
On each episode of the show, host Timothy DeLaGhetto interviews squeamish guests as they try dishes most people would avoid. For Sandoval, 36, and Madix, 34, it was all about guinea pig, which is known as “cuy” in Peru. To sample the meal, the trio traveled to Jackson Heights, a neighborhood in Queens, New York, and visited a Peruvian restaurant called Urubamba.
As one of the chefs explained to DeLaGhetto, also 34, Peruvians typically roast guinea pigs whole with an array of spices or fry them before digging in.
When the trio sat down to eat, Sandoval and Madix, who noted she is a fan of Peruvian food, had no idea what was in store. As they feasted on ceviche, a seafood soup called parihuela, grilled octopus and other popular Peruvian dishes, Madix explained that she doesn’t consider herself to be a picky eater. “When I was little, my mom would make sure that we were eating, like, a variety of things because she grew up in a family where I feel like there was a lot of picky eating,” she said.
However, the bartender noted that she draws the line at eating foods that are “alive.” She also mentioned that she wouldn’t chow down on common household pets, such as a dog or a cat.
Moments later, the chef brought the cooked guinea pig to the table. “It looks like a flying squirrel caught mid-flight,” Sandoval quipped.
Madix, who revealed she was bitten by a guinea pig during her childhood, joked that this meal was her “revenge.”
After taking a small bite of the cuy, Sandoval admitted he was pleasantly surprised. “The meat is actually pretty soft,” he said. Madix, who he began dating in 2014, agreed, but noted that the skin was a tad “chewy” for her taste.
“It’s soft and it kind of tastes like dark meat chicken, but softer,” Sandoval added as he kept eating.
The TomTom co-owner then removed the guinea pig’s head and attempted to find a fox-shaped bone that Peruvians often put in a drink and swallow for good luck. Though he wasn’t able to locate the good luck charm even after removing the skin on the guinea pig’s head, he and Madix agreed that the food was tasty.
“It was way juicier and more flavorful than I would’ve thought,” the Florida native concluded. For his part, Sandoval pointed out that the meat was impressively “tender.”
Believe it or not, the Bravo personalities aren’t the first stars to taste guinea pig on camera. During a July 2019 episode of his show, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, Gordon Ramsay ventured to Peru to try the local staple for the first time and gave it his overwhelming seal of approval. “You do not know what you’re missing,” the 53-year-old gushed of the delicacy at the time. “I am telling you now, delicious.”
The MasterChef host also likened the food to “a suckling pig,” and called it “pretty good.”