Peruvian Food

I was dining last night with some of the boys and the subject of eating Peruvian food came up.  Of course, since today is Friday, I thought this would be a perfect topic for Foodie Friday fun.  It happens to be one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, but, unsurprisingly, my buddies were focused on one element of it in particular.

“Don’t they eat guinea pigs there?” someone asked?  “Yeah, and beef hearts too, right?”  Well, it’s not really material to me what’s considered normal cuisine down Peru way, but the business point that they make just might be and I’d love your input.  Here’s my thinking.

Guinea pigs are pets up here in North America.  None of us are thinking about eating the family pet, of course.  Yet in another culture it’s quite normal.  We might opt for a nice beefsteak instead.  In India, we’re way out of line since the cow is considered a sacred animal.  Horsemeat is fine in many cultures but not something you’ll find on American menus.  The business point?

We often rule things out due to cultural biases.  Instead, we need to be open to things that might open up other markets because we can overcome those cultural differences.  For example, online gambling is very much a no-no here but a multi-billion dollar (or Euro) business elsewhere.  If you can build that business, do you forego it due to American morays?  Probably not.

I’ve yet to dine in a Peruvian place here that served guinea pig but I’m not going to fault a place that does.  Business is a global enterprise – the world is flat, and interconnected, right?  While there are local market emphases, any digital business is globally available and criticizing what you’re seeing across cultures or borders is unrealistic.

Am I off base here?

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