Ceviche or Seviche or Sebiche or Cebiche: Is it Peruvian?
A brief history of Ceviche
Ceviche, raw fish cooked in lime, is one of the most typical dishes in Peruvian cuisine.
Even though this dish is mostly known as Ceviche today, there are some scripts from 1820 spelling it as “seviche.” Ricardo Palma, one of the most influencer writers at that time, also mentioned this word in his famous book Tradiciones Peruanas.
According to historians, the Mochicas – a pre-Inca culture from around 2000 years ago in the north of Peru- already prepared a similar dish that could be the origin of Ceviche; they used fresh fish marinated (cold and raw) with tumbo, a local sour passion fruit (Passiflora mollisima).
The historian Javier Pulgar assert that the name comes from the word “Siwichi” which means fresh fish in Quechua, so the spelling Seviche isn’t far from being a variation of that word in Spanish. So by knowing this, we can say that the origin of this dish has its roots in Peru.
But, we must say that with the arrival of the Spaniards to the American Continent they brought onions and lime – which are part of the modern recipe, and also slaves who used to serve a marinated raw fish based meal call “Sibech.” Curiously it is also similar to Sebiche.
Today, in other countries like Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Chile Ecuador, Panama, Ecuador, Honduras Venezuela, and Nicaragua exists a diverse array of dishes also called Cebiche, and the origin for all of them is Sibech, but the origin of the Peruvian Ceviche is without any doubt from the Moche pre-Inca culture.
Learn to make Ceviche during our Peruvian Feast Culinary Experience