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Food Innovations Blog

Ceviche

April 16, 2012

By: Chef Eric White, Culinary Development Chef

Ceviche, also known as cebiche or seviche, thought to have originated in Peru, has a long history in coastal towns around the globe.  Made with extremely fresh seafood to minimize illness, ceviche has become somewhat of a staple in many restaurants in today’s world.  Air freight has made it possible for great ceviche to be placed on menus in land locked areas as well as well as coastal areas.

Archaeologists have found evidence that the dish has been consumed for nearly 2,000 years.  Before fresh citrus was available it is believed that fermented local juices were used to marinate the seafood.  As the fare spread to other parts of Central and South America, the ingredients used changed with the available ingredients in the region.  Today you can find great ceviche anywhere there is fresh seafood.

Ceviche is most commonly marinated in a mixture of lemon and lime juice.  The combination of these acidic juices creates an environment that will “cook” the seafood.  Proteins in an acidic environment will denature in a similar fashion as heat being applied to meat products.  Keeping the seafood in the acidic environment for an appropriate amount of time will produce a product that is safe to consume.

Although garnishes for this fresh seafood can vary by country you will commonly find onion, cilantro and chiles.  Ceviche is often served with avocado which compliments the flavor.  Ceviche can be served with or without the marinating liquid.  Tostadas, corn or flour tortillas, lettuce or simply a fork can accompany ceviche based on regional preferences.

Wherever you are in the world, great ceviche will find you.

 

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