Ceviche, a vibrant dish of marinated raw fish, is a testament to the rich tapestry of Latin American cuisine. Known for its bright flavours and simple preparation, ceviche embodies the confluence of indigenous and European culinary traditions.

The origins of ceviche are as varied and colourful as the dish itself, with several coastal countries in Latin America laying claim to its creation. However, the consensus among culinary historians is that ceviche likely originated in the ancient Inca civilizations of Peru and Ecuador, where local fish was marinated in chicha, a fermented maize drink. The arrival of the Spanish brought citrus fruits like limes, which replaced chicha as the acidic marinating agent, transforming the dish into the ceviche we recognise today.

The traditional method of preparing Ceviche involves curing the fish in lime or lemon juice, with the acidity causing the proteins in the fish to denature, effectively ‘cooking’ it without heat, preserving the delicate flavour and texture of the fish.

The dish is further enhanced with the addition of onions, chili peppers, and coriander, creating a harmonious blend of flavours that is both refreshing and invigorating. Each country in Latin America has its variation of ceviche, showcasing local ingredients and culinary preferences. For example, Peruvian ceviche often includes sweet potato and corn, while the Mexican version might feature avocado and tomatoes, reflecting the diverse agricultural products of each region.

In recent decades, the dish has gained popularity beyond Latin America, embraced by chefs and food enthusiasts around the world for its simplicity, elegance and depth of flavour. The global spread of ceviche has led to new interpretations and innovations, blending traditional techniques with contemporary flavours. From upscale restaurants to street food stalls, ceviche is celebrated for its versatility and adaptability, capable of capturing the essence of a locale while remaining true to its roots.

As ceviche continues to captivate palates across the globe, it serves as a vibrant ambassador for Latin American cuisine, inviting all to explore the diverse flavours and rich culinary traditions of the region. It is more than just a dish; it is a cultural heritage, a living expression of Latin America’s coastal communities, and a unifying symbol of the region’s gastronomic legacy.