Ceviche

Ceviche

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Ceviche is a seafood
Seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

 dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, especially Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus
Citrus
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

 juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt, coriander/cilantro
Coriander
Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the...

, and pepper may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dish
Side dish
A side dish, sometimes referred to as a side order or simply a side, is a food item that accompanies the entrée or main course at a meal.-Common types:...

es that complement its flavors such as sweet potato
Sweet potato
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of...

, lettuce
Lettuce
Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. It is eaten either raw, notably in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and many other dishes, or cooked, as in Chinese cuisine in which the stem becomes just as important...

, corn
Corn
Corn is the name used in the United States, Canada, and Australia for the grain maize.In much of the English-speaking world, the term "corn" is a generic term for cereal crops, such as* Barley* Oats* Wheat* Rye- Places :...

, or avocado
Avocado
The avocado is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel...

. As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to minimize the risk of food poisoning
Foodborne illness
Foodborne illness is any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, as well as chemical or natural toxins such as poisonous mushrooms.-Causes:Foodborne illness usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or...

.

The origin of ceviche is disputed. Possible origin sites for the dish include the western coast of north-central South America, or in Central America. Other coastal societies such as the Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

n islands of the south Pacific
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 are also attributed the invention of the plate. The Spanish, who brought from Europe citrus fruits such as lime, could have also originated the plate with roots in Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 cuisine. However, the most likely origin of the plate lies in the area of present-day Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

.

Along with an archaeological record that suggests the consumption of a food similar to ceviche nearly 2000 years ago, historians believe the predecessor to the dish was brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

 who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors and colonizers, and this dish eventually evolved into what now is considered ceviche. Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio
Gaston Acurio
Gastón Acurio Jaramillo is a Peruvian chef and ambassador of Peruvian cuisine. He is owner of international restaurants and author of several books...

 further explains that the dominant position that Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

 held through four centuries as the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

 allowed for popular plates such as ceviche to be brought to other Spanish colonies in the region, and that in time they became a part of local cuisine by incorporating regional flavors and styles.

Today, ceviche is a popular international dish prepared in a variety of ways throughout the Americas reaching the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the 1980s. The greatest variety of ceviches are found in Peru, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

; but other distinctly unique styles can also be found in coastal Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, and several other nations.

Etymology


The origin of the name of the dish is also disputed. One hypothesis suggests that the common Spanish word for the dish, "cebiche," has its origin in the Latin word cibus, which translates to English as "food for men and animals." Another hypothesis, supported by the Royal Spanish Academy, is that the name might derive from the Spanish-Arabic word assukkabáǧ, which itself derives from the Arabic word sakbāj (سكباج meaning: meat cooked in vinegar). Further hypotheses base the origin of the term on escabeche, Spanish for pickle, or that it is simply a variation of the word siwichi, the traditional Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

 name for the dish.

The name of the dish may be spelled variously as cebiche, ceviche, or seviche based on regional location; all three spelling variations are accepted by the Royal Spanish Academy , the official institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. Despite this, other local terms, such as cerbiche and serviche, are still used as variations to name the plate.

Origin


In regards to the origin of the plate, there exists various explanations. According to some historic sources from Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, ceviche would have originated among the Moche, a coastal civilization that flourished in the area of current-day northern Peru nearly 500 years ago. The Moche apparently used the fermented juice from the local Banana passionfruit
Banana passionfruit
Banana passionfruit is the fruit of several plants in the genus Passiflora, and are therefore related to the passion fruit. They look somewhat like a straight, small banana with rounded ends. It was given this name in New Zealand, where passionfruit are also prevalent. In Hawaii, it is called...

. Recent investigations further show that during the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

, fish were marinated with the use of chicha
Chicha
For the musical genre, see Peruvian cumbiaChicha is a term used in some regions of Latin America for several varieties of fermented and non-fermented beverages, rather often to those derived from maize and similar non-alcoholic beverages...

, an Andean fermented beverage. Different chronicles also report that along the Peruvian coast, prior to the arrival of Europeans, fish was consumed with salt and ají
Aji (food)
Aji is a spicy sauce that often contains tomatoes, cilantro, hot peppers , and onions. Recipes vary dramatically from table to table, depending on the preference of the chef. Aji has been used in Peru since the times of the Incas, who called it uchu....

. Furthermore, this theory proposes that the natives simply switched to the citrus fruits brought by the Spanish colonists, but the main concepts of the plate remain essentially the same.

The invention of the dish is also attributed to places ranging from Central America to the Polynesian islands in the South Pacific. In Ecuador, it is believed Ceviche could have also had its origins with its coastal civilizations as both Peru and Ecuador have shared cultural heritages (such as the Inca empire) and a large variety of fish and shellfish. In Mexico, according to the book "Mexico One Plate At A Time," despite the dish has been a part of traditional Mexican coastal cuisine for centuries, ceviche is not native to Mexico. It is also believed that the Spanish, who brought from Europe citrus fruits such as lime, could have originated the plate in Spain with roots in Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 cuisine.

Nevertheless, most historians agree that ceviche originated during colonial times
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 in the area of present-day Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

. They propose that the predecessor to the plate was brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

 who accompanied the Spaniards, and this dish eventually evolved into what nowadays is considered ceviche. Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio
Gaston Acurio
Gastón Acurio Jaramillo is a Peruvian chef and ambassador of Peruvian cuisine. He is owner of international restaurants and author of several books...

 further explains that the dominant position that Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

 held through four centuries as the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

 allowed for popular plates such as ceviche to be brought to other Spanish colonies in the region, and that in time they became a part of local cuisine by incorporating regional flavors and styles.

Preparation


Ceviche is marinated in a citrus-based mixture, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured
Denaturation (biochemistry)
Denaturation is a process in which proteins or nucleic acids lose their tertiary structure and secondary structure by application of some external stress or compound, such as a strong acid or base, a concentrated inorganic salt, an organic solvent , or heat...

. Traditional style ceviche was marinated for about 3 hours. Modern-style ceviche, created by Peruvian chef Dario Matsufuji in the 1970s, usually has a very short marinating period. With the appropriate fish, it can marinate in the time it takes to mix the ingredients, serve, and carry the ceviche to the table.

Variations



Most Latin American countries have given ceviche its own touch of individuality by adding its own particular garnishes.

South America


In Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, ceviche has been declared to be part of Peru's "national heritage" and has even had a holiday declared in its honor. The classic Peruvian ceviche is composed of chunks of raw fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

, marinated in freshly squeezed key lime
Key lime
The Key lime is a citrus species with a globose fruit, 2.5–5 cm in diameter , that is yellow when ripe but usually picked green commercially. It is smaller, seedier, has a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind than that of the Persian lime...

 or bitter orange
Bitter orange
The name "bitter orange", also known as Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, and marmalade orange, refers to a citrus tree and its fruit. Many varieties of bitter orange are used for their essential oil, which is used in perfume and as a flavoring...

 (naranja agria) juice, with sliced onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

s, chili
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

, salt and pepper. Corvina
Cilus gilberti
The corvina, also known as the corvina drum , is a saltwater fish of the Sciaenidae family . It inhabits mostly tropical to temperate coastal waters of the southeastern Pacific along Central and South America...

 or Cebo (sea bass) was the fish traditionally used. The mixture was traditionally marinated for several hours and served at room temperature with chunks of corn-on-the-cob, and slices of cooked sweet potato
Sweet potato
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of...

. Regional or contemporary variations include garlic, minced Peruvian ají limo, or the Andean chilli rocoto
Rocoto
Capsicum pubescens is a species of the genus Capsicum , which is found primarily in Central and South America. The name component pubescens means hairy, which refers to the hairy leaves of this pepper. The plants, but especially the fruits, are often referred to as rocoto and locoto...

, toasted corn or "cancha" and yuyo (seaweed
Seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

). A specialty of Trujillo
Trujillo, Peru
Trujillo, in northwestern Peru, is the capital of the La Libertad Region, and the third largest city in Peru. The urban area has 811,979 inhabitants and is an economic hub in northern Peru...

 is ceviche prepared from shark (tollo or tojo). Lenguado (sole) is often used in Lima. The modern version of Peruvian ceviche, which is similar to the method used in making Japanese sashimi, consists of fish marinated for a few minutes and served promptly. It was created by the now deceased Peruvian-Japanese chef Dario Matsufuji, during the 1970s. Many Peruvian cevicherías serve a small glass of the marinade (as an appetizer) along with the fish, which is called leche de tigre or leche de pantera.

In Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, shrimp ceviche tends to be made with tomato sauce
Tomato sauce
A tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily from tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish...

 for a tangy taste. The Manabí style, made with lime juice, salt and the juice provided by the shrimp itself is very popular. Occasionally, ceviche is made with various types of local shellfish, such as black clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

, oysters, spondilus, barnacles (percebes), among others. It is served in a bowl with toasted corn kernels as a side dish (fried green plantains or thinly sliced plantains (plantain chips) called "chifles" and pop corn are also typical ceviche side dishes). Sea bass, octopus and crab ceviches are also common in Ecuador. In all ceviches, lime juice and salt are ubiquitous ingredients. It is also served in a large crystal bowl with the guests helping themselves by spearing it with toothpicks.

In Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, ceviche is often made with fillets of halibut
Halibut
Halibut is a flatfish, genus Hippoglossus, from the family of the right-eye flounders . Other flatfish are also called halibut. The name is derived from haly and butt , for its popularity on Catholic holy days...

 or Patagonian toothfish
Patagonian toothfish
The Patagonian toothfish, Dissostichus eleginoides , is a fish found in the cold, temperate waters of the southern Atlantic, southern Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands.A close relative, the Antarctic toothfish , is found...

, and marinated in lime and grapefruit juices, as well as finely minced garlic and red chilli peppers and often fresh mint and cilantro are added.

Central America and The Caribbean


In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and parts of Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, it is served in cocktail cups with tostada
Tostada
Tostada is a Spanish word which literally means "toasted". It is used in Latin America to name several different traditional local dishes which have in common the fact they are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation. There is a gender difference between "tostada"...

s, or as a tostada topping and taco filling. Shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

, octopus
Octopus
The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

, squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

, tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

, and mackerel
Mackerel
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel , enter bays and can be...

 are popular bases for Mexican ceviche. The marinade ingredients include salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, lime
Lime (fruit)
Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and...

, onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

, chile
Capsicum
Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas where they have been cultivated for thousands of years, but they are now also cultivated worldwide, used as spices, vegetables, and medicines - and have become are a key element in...

, avocado
Avocado
The avocado is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel...

, and coriander
Coriander
Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the...

 (known as cilantro in the Americas). Tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

es are often added to the preparation. According to the book "Mexico One Plate At A Time," even though the dish has been a part of traditional Mexican coastal cuisine for centuries, ceviche is not a dish native to Mexico. Despite this, Mexican ceviche has developed its own distinct styles that make it unique from the other variations available.

In El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, the ceviche tradition is very strong. One of the most exotic ceviche recipes is "Ceviche de Concha Negra" known in Mexico as Pata de Mula "the Black Clam." It is dark, almost black, with a distinct look and flavor. The ceviche is prepared with Lime juice, onion, yerba buena
Yerba Buena
Yerba buena is a rambling aromatic herb of western and northwestern North America, ranging from maritime Alaska southwards to Baja California Sur...

, salt, pepper,tomato, Worcester sauce, and sometimes picante (any kind of hot sauce or any kind of hot pepper) as desired.

In Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, the dish includes marinated fish, lime juice, salt, ground black pepper, finely minced onions, cilantro and finely minced peppers. It is usually served in a cocktail glass with a lettuce leaf and soda crackers on the side, as in Mexico. Popular condiments are tomato ketchup
Ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

 and tabasco sauce
Tabasco sauce
Tabasco sauce is the brand name for a hot sauce produced by US-based McIlhenny Company of Avery Island, Louisiana. Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers , vinegar, and salt, and aged in white oak barrels for three years. It has a hot, spicy flavor...

. The fish is typically tilapia or corvina, although mahi-mahi
Mahi-mahi
The mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. It is one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family, the other being the pompano dolphinfish...

, shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

 and marlin
Marlin
Marlin, family Istiophoridae, are fish with an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long rigid dorsal fin, which extends forward to form a crest. Its common name is thought to derive from its resemblance to a sailor's marlinspike...

 are also popular.

In Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, ceviche is prepared with lemon juice, chopped onion, celery, habanero pepper, and sea salt. Ceviche de corvina (white sea bass) is very popular and is served as an appetizer in most local restaurants. It is also commonly prepared with octopus, shrimp, and squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

, or served with little pastry shells called "canastitas."

In Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, ceviche is often made using mahi-mahi prepared with lime juice, salt, onion, green pepper, habanero pepper, and a touch of allspice
Allspice
Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice, is a spice that is the dried unripe fruit of Pimenta dioica , a mid-canopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world...

. Squid and tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

 are also popular.

In The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 and south Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, a conch
Conch
A conch is a common name which is applied to a number of different species of medium-sized to large sea snails or their shells, generally those which are large and have a high spire and a siphonal canal....

 ceviche known as 'conch salad' is very popular. It is prepared by marinating diced fresh conch in lime with chopped onions, celery
Celery
Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery or celeriac , depending on whether the petioles or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall...

, and bell pepper
Bell pepper
Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper and capsicum , is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum . Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange and green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as...

. Diced pequin pepper
Pequin pepper
Pequin pepper is a hot chile pepper, also known as "bird pepper", that is commonly used as a spice....

 and/or scotch bonnet pepper is often added for spice. In south Florida, it is common to encounter a variation to which tomato juice has been added.

Potential health risks


Aside from contaminants, raw seafood can also be the vector for various pathogens, viral, bacterial, as well as larger parasitic creatures.
According to the 2009 Food Code published by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), specific microbial hazards in ceviche
include: Anisakis simplex, Diphyllobothrium spp., Pseudoterranova decipiens, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Anisakiasis is a zoonotic disease caused by the ingestion of larval nematodes in raw seafood dishes such as ceviche.
The Latin American cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 outbreaks in the 1990s have been attributed to the consumption of raw cholera-infested seafood that was eaten as ceviche. Other studies concluded that the lack of sanitary food supply conditions, including "unwashed fruit and vegetables, contaminated food and ice from street vendors, contaminated drinking water, and contaminated crab meat transported in luggage" caused the epidemic.

The American Dietetic Association urges women to avoid ceviche during pregnancy.

See also

  • Escabeche
    Escabeche
    Escabeche is a typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself...

    , cooked, rather than raw, fish in an acidic marinade
  • Kelaguen
    Kelaguen
    Kelaguen is a Chamoru dish from The Mariana Islands eaten as a salad/side dish or as a main course. A pickling marinade of lemon juice, fresh coconut, green onions, salt and hot red chilies is used to marinate cooked chicken, raw shrimp, fish or beef. With the exception of the cooked chicken, the...

  • List of raw fish dishes

External links