Ceviche, the national dish of Peru, consists of cubed white fish (e.g. sea bass, redfish) that have been marinated in lime or lemon juice and seasoned with chili peppers and cilantro. While this iconic dish is made with the freshest seafood possible and isn’t cooked in the traditional sense, it isn’t technically raw either. Interestingly, the acid in lime juice “cooks” the fish by denaturing the proteins (via Special Broadcasting Service from Australia).
According to Christian Manrique, a Le Cordon Bleu chef from Lima, the capital of Peru, assembling the dish in the right order is crucial to making an authentic ceviche. In an interview with Cultural trip, he explains that the seasoning should come first, then the mixture, and finally the lime juice marinade. He also recommends not cubing fish that is too small to avoid oversaturation.
National Geographic United Kingdom writes that ceviche is a Peruvian dish that dates back thousands of years. However, citrus fruits were only introduced to Peru after the arrival of Spanish explorers. It is therefore a classic example of how ancient local tradition meets international influence to create something that today is uniquely Peruvian.