Ceviche: Cultural Patrimony of the Nation Peru
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Ceviche: Cultural Patrimony of the Nation Peru

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Ceviche: Cultural Patrimony of the Nation Peru

Ceviche, which is often spelled ceviche or seviche, depending on what part of South America it comes from, is basically raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice, mainly lemon juice. According to the Peruvian historian Javier Pulgar Vidal, the ceviche name comes from the Quechua word "Siwichi" which would mean fresh fish or tender fish.One hypothesis proposes that the words Siwichi and Sikba were confused during the conquest of the Inca Empire by the Spaniards, which caused that it was transformed into the name with which we know it today. The dish is served in a type of restaurant known as cevicheria. The juice citrus coagulates the proteins of the fish, effectively cooking it, thus not heating it, and it is served cold or at room temperature. Many fish and shellfish are used to prepare it. The most popular fish that are used to prepare the ceviche are the Snapper, the Corvina, the Grouper and the Dorado. Other ingredients of the marine food are prawns, shells, squid and octopus. It can be eaten as an entree or as a main dish, depending on how it is served. It seems that there are as many varieties of ceviche as the people who eat it. Continue reading and discover all about the famous dish of Peru Ceviche:

Where does it come from? 

Ceviche could have originated among the Moche, a coastal civilization that began to flourish in the area that is currently northern Peru almost 2000 years ago. The Moche apparently used the fermented juice of banana and passion fruit. Recent research also shows, during the Inca Empire, that the fish were marinated with chicha, an Andean fermented drink. Different chronicles also report that along the Peruvian coast before the arrival of Europeans, the fish was consumed with salt and "chili". On the other hand, this theory proposes that the natives simply changed for the citrus brought by the Spanish colonizers, but the main concepts of the dish remain essentially the same.

ceviche meaning

Basic recipe:  

The basic ingredients of any Ceviche in Peru are: 

  • White fish cut into pieces (size to taste)
  • Lemon juice
  • Red onion in julienne
  • Chopped or ground red chili
  • Cilantro or chopped coriander 
  • Salt.

Preferably, the fish should not have been caught with nets, but with a hook, so as not to hurt the meat too much. To prepare it, mix the fish with the other ingredients in a tank, leaving it to marinate according to taste. In some places, such as in Lima and to the North, it is usually prepared and served at the moment so that the fish does not cohere with the lemon. To the south, from the department of Arequipa, it is not strange to add chopped celery to tiger's milk, which is the juice produced by mixing the ingredients of the ceviche, which has a slightly spicy and acidic flavor and the particularity of being a good restorative. The local custom recommends it as a breakfast for night owls and as an aphrodisiac. There is a variety called panther milk because of the dark color of the juice that is produced from black shell ceviche, which can be found from the coast of the department of Piura (where there is a variant of the black shell called white shell) and the department of Tumbes, to the Central American Pacific.


How it is served?

The Peruvian Ceviche is traditionally served on a flat plate (it is an entrance plate). However, in haute cuisine it has been seen served in wide glasses and very recently, sold in glasses in the streets as a snack. The garrisons considered vary from region to region. In Lima, Chimbote and Trujillo the most common accompaniments are the corn, the field (toasted corn), sweet potato boiled in water and weed (Chondracanthus chamissoi) or lettuce leaves. More to the north, in Tumbes, Piura and Chiclayo it is usually accompanied with chifles (fried banana in slices) and zarandaja (Lablab purpureus), a species of legume from the area, originally from Africa. You can also see yucca boiled in water in both areas, as in Iquitos. The usual drink to accompany a ceviche is chicha de jora, black beer or an Inca Kola to appease the pleasant itch so typical of Peruvian food. It is also very popular to accompany it with a common cold beer.

what does ceviche mean


Types of ceviche 


  • Fish ceviche: It is the most common type of ceviche that consists of cutting pieces of fish in a square shape, mixing them with lemon and salt. The preparation can be made more complex according to the taste of the diner. Mostly the ceviche is prepared with the file of the fish but it is also made with parts that have bones, as is typical in the region of Piura with mackerel ceviche. Varieties of fish used: sole, silverside, mackerel, bonito, grouper, toyo, trout, among others. 
  • Mixed ceviche: Mixed ceviche is that culinary dish that contains the same ingredients as normal ceviche, to which different seafood or fish have been added and it can be accompanied with sweet potato or decorated with lettuce leaves. 
  • Ceviche of black shells: The black Peruvian shellfish ceviche is a typical dish from the Tumbes and Piura coasts made from black shells (Anadara tuberculosa) and yellowed in the classic way with Chulucanas lemon, seasoned with red onion, garlic, aji and finally rocoto Peruvian. It is accompanied with chifles (fried banana sliced ​​finely cut), zarandaja or canchita (toasted corn). Another variety that fuses this type of ceviche with another is ceviche a la piurana, seasoned in a special way and using the grouper. 
  • Octopus Ceviche: The preparation is similar to that of the fish ceviche, you just have to consider that the octopus must be tender or failing that it is passed through boiled water to soften its meat. 
  • Tiradito: The "tiradito" is a variant of the fish ceviche. The difference is in the cutting of the meat, which is made in thin slices, like a carpaccio or sashimi. The preparation is something simpler, omitting the onion and adding cream of yellow pepper or hot pepper. In other cases olive sauce and garlic. It is accompanied with choclo cocido whole or shredded, chifles (fried banana sliced ​​finely cut) or canchita (toasted corn) 
  • Chinguirito: The chinguirito is made from dried fish (typically guitar) in seasoned strips to which lemon and tiger milk are added.

The exact ingredients and preparation methods for ceviche can vary depending on the region and personal preferences. However, the basic process involves combining the raw seafood with citrus juice, along with other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and chili peppers. The mixture is typically seasoned with salt and pepper, and sometimes additional spices or herbs.


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