What Is Ceviche And Is It Safe To Eat Raw Fish?

When you think of raw fish dishes, your mind must go straight to sushi. Are we right? But over in Peru, there's another raw fish dish that needs your attention, and it's called ceviche. This unique food has a long history and a vast explosion of tastes that you are sure to love. Although today it’s thought of as a gourmet dish, it came from much more humble origins. 

It's a Peruvian invention that has been around since the Incan times - centuries of history! It’s thought that it started off with fishermen who ate their own catch when they couldn’t sell it so that freshly caught fish didn’t go to waste. The predecessor to ceviche originated in the Moche civilisation in the area of current-day northern Peru and southern Ecuador nearly 2000 years ago, according to some historic Peruvian sources. Ceviche is one of El Salvador's favourite dishes. Ceviche options in this tropical country include shrimp, fish, octopus, and black clams. 

There are many different variations of ceviche, but they all contain fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt and chilli peppers. Ceviche is often a citrus-marinated dish with seafood and sometimes vegetables. Rather than using heat or more familiar cooking methods, the ingredients are cooked by the acid in the citrus fruit, which becomes vinegar. 


So as with all raw meat, there’s always that worry about how safe it is to eat. If you look at it under a microscope, there are still little bits of bacteria floating around. However, marinating it in citrus fruit effectively kills all the dangerous bacteria. It’s perfectly safe to eat but within limits, that's why ceviche is not recommended for pregnant women or children since it could lead to food poisoning.

Today, you can find ceviche all over the world and in many forms, but it still all ties back to those ancient roots and simple style of ‘cooking’. The innovation of our ancestors has become a dish to relish and we’re 100% behind that.