The History in Your Ceviche

Ceviche reigns from Peru, where Pre-Columbian coastal civilizations “cooked” (cured) fresh fish in passion fruit, Tumbo and other acidic fruit juices almost 2,000 years ago. It is also known that the Incas cured fish in chicha, a fermented beverage made of maize.

The sixteenth century brought the arrival of the Spanish and Moors, and with them, citrus. Bitter oranges and later limes proved to be a quick and efficient way of curing the fish to a firm “cooked” texture, and traditional Peruvian ceviche evolved to include red onions, aji limo and other peppers, choclo (giant Andean corn), sweet potatoes and maiz cancha (crunchy corn).

Modern Peruvian ceviche was also influenced by the arrival of Japanese immigrants, who took advantage of the incredibly fresh seafood from Peru’s bountiful fisheries and applied a shorter “cook” time, minutes rather than hours, which translates to a fish with a texture much closer to raw.

It is widely believed that the Spanish spread the concept of ceviche throughout their territories in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Very different varieties of ceviche can be found in Panama, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, as well as other countries. Peruvian Ceviche Preparation Tips 1. Of course, start with the absolute freshest fish you can. 2. Cut fish in 1/2 inch cubes, don't slice

3. Salt fish lightly after cutting, let sit for a couple of minutes

4. Add fresh lime juice and an ice cube (don't overly squeeze the limes, as it imparts bitterness from the skin) and let sit for only 5-10 minutes.

5. If you'd like, one can add a little fresh fish or shrimp stock to temper the acid of the lime. Black or white pepper optional. Remove the ice cube if it hasn't melted.

5. You can add sweet, medium and or hot peppers, choclo (giant Andean corn), red onions, cilantro, parsley and

6. Serve with sweet potatoes (boil with a little salt, cinnamon and cloves) and freshly sliced avocado on a leaf of a nice lettuce

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