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:
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.
The basic ingredients of any Ceviche in Peru are:
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.
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.
Types of ceviche
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.