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Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Eat, Mexico, North America, Peru, South America, Travel Info

Ceviche Battle: Peru Vs Mexico

Peru Ceviche

ce·vi·che  /səˈvēCHā/ – A South American dish of marinated raw fish or seafood, typically garnished and served as an appetizer.

I’ve tried both Peruvian Ceviche and Mexican Ceviche. So who wins in this South American Seafood Showdown?

Peruvian Ceviche has been declared the National Dish of Peru. It is so ingrained in the Peruvian culture that June 28 has been dubbed “Day of Ceviche”. Talking about loving a food? Peruvian ceviche is typically made of raw white fish (Corvina or Sea Bass) and mixed with red onions and chili peppers, and cooked with the acidity of limes. It is typically served with yams and sweet corn kernals. It can be an entire meal or simply an appetizer.

Mexican Ceviche is not a dish native to Mexico but has been adopted into the traditional coastal cuisine. The Mexican ceviche incorporates all forms of seafood: shrimp, octopus, tuna, mackerel, and squid. It is mixed with red onions, tomatoes, and avocados, and cooked with the acidity of lines. It used as a toastada topping or as a taco filling – typically an appetizer, not an entrée.

Peru Cevichce

The differences in the ceviches are not subtle – although cooked with the signature acidity of limes, both dishes have different ingredients and cater to different appetites. So why is this so important to me?

I first tried ceviche in Peru. I instantly fell in love. I proclaimed eternal food lust towards this new and delectable dish. I ordered it most days for lunch, not only pumping up my protein intake and giving my body a lime cleanse, but enjoying every last bite of it. I was hooked.

So when I planned my trip to Mexico, and I learned that Mexico has its own version of one of my favourite meals, I was ecstatic to once again be united with the seafood dish I had dreamed about on a weekly basis. Yes, I dream about ceviche and sometimes I drool too.

When I arrived in Mexico and promptly ordered ceviche in the first restaurant I entered, my expectations were high and I was salivating as the waiter balanced my plate upon one hand and glided my way. I stared at the seafood glory that was ceviche and promised I would never go a month without indulging in its deliciousness again. And as I put the first spoonful into my mouth and started to chew, I quickly realized the ceviche taste I so longed for was not being met by the platter in front of me.

The seafood felt soggy and drenched in lime instead of the lime bursting the fish flavour out for my taste buds to enjoy. The tomato and avocado weren’t complimenting the dish and offsetting the full flavours the way the yam and the sweet corn kernals had so wonderfully in Peru. What was going on Mexico? Why was this ceviche not good?

So I dubbed it a bad restaurant experience and went in search of another locale to meet my ceviche needs. One restaurant after another I searched in vain, the ceviche was better at the next few restaurants, but it was nothing worthy of my ceviche adoration. Was I wrong about ceviche? Had I gone so long without it that I had built my expectations to high? Had I ruined one of my favourite meals for myself? I felt like crying.

Then I did my research – I poked my fork into my plate and analyzed the ingredients used. I noted the differences in ingredients and garnishes, and was aptly relieved to find that it was in fact not Ceviches fault – it was simply Mexico’s.

Sorry Mexico – Peruvian Ceviche dominates this Ceviche Battle.

10 Comments

  1. First, I’m going to have to steal the phrase, “eternal food lust.”

    Second, this is the 2nd post I’ve read today that’s featured ceviche. I was about to ask what it is, but thankfully you summed that up already! It looks divine, and based on the descriptions, Peru is a clear winner. Get those tentacles away from my mouth, Mexico!
    Tom @ Waegook Tom’s Recently Posted..12 Beautiful Photos of KoreaMy Profile

  2. Mexican ceviche is way better. Peruvian ceviche is sweet.

  3. Plus Mexican ceviche has agua Chile, maleficio, campechgana should I continue.

  4. Mexican food is better, but not only with ceviche, but in almost every dish you can compare. I don’t like eating guinea pigs, so Peru can keep their dishes right were they are. So disgusting.

  5. People are so ignorant i swear…Mexican food is gross, they eat everything with tortillas like really? No wonder why a lot of them are chubby.. Peruvian food or any other Southamerican food is better than Mexican….the real ceviche is from Peru of course it has to be better. Mexican food is only good to a lot of american people, but go to any other South American country u wont even see 1 Mexican restaurant, i guess because South America eats better:) …and dont start about guinea pigs, because In mexico they eat tacos de cabeza, tripa, cheeks, and etc.. Btw i know because i know a lot of mexicans and thats all they ever eat. :) im glad u liked Peruvian Ceviche better, nothing can compare to it :).

  6. This is just an interesting topic for me because i’m in the middle of a struggle. Born Mexican (luckily),I’ve always LOVED my mother’s dishes.. Pozole, Chille relleno, enchiladas, Menudo, etc. Then, I married a Peruvian. She doesn’t cook a lick but when we visit her homeland (5 times already and planning on trip #6) the ceviche is amazing. YES, it’s better than Mexico’s. Okay, that’s 0 – 1. Then you go into their other dishes.. Lomo Saltado, Seco De Res, Aji de Gallina, Arroz chaufa, Bistek Pobre, Tallarin.. everything is so flavorful.

    My brother in law is in town and he doesn’t dig tortillas.. kind of gay but he’s on a health trip. Well, to my surprise I’m having a hard time recommending dishes to him… Nachos, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, sopes.. he won’t try any of it.

  7. First of all guinea pigs aren’t the only thing eaten in Peru , Mexico has delicious foods, Ceviche is Perus especiality . Peruvian food is not disgusting it very good it’s one of the best cuisines around the world so is Mexico. Peru food has a lot of cultural fusions there’s food for the coast from the Sierra food that was blended with Asian origins also origins from Africa all combined that make Peru a lovely place to try food guinea pigs aren’t the only thing eaten I don’t eat them they also get eaten in other countries I would recommend you to go to a good Peruvian restaurant many of my friends that aren’t Peruvian like Mexicans ecuadorians Italians etc. actually love Peruvian food so do I but we also love Mexican food

  8. Both Peru and Mexico have a lot of great dishes, so this is not a nationalistic argument and everybody has different tastes, but as far as Ceviche goes, you can’t compare them. Ceviche is Peru’s main dish (like Mexico’s tacos), and they make it with seafood too, so it is not just fish, in fact I have tried at least 5 o 6 types of ceviche with different types of fish or seafood. I think the difference might be the kick that you get with the hot pepper they use “rocoto” which taste different from the Mexican hot peppers. It is difficult to get good Peruvian ceviche in the US because they try to make less spicy to satisfy U.S. taste buds, so one has to ask for an spicy ceviche. Mexican ceviche is just an appetizer,before you get a real meal, the tomato and aguacate taste great in guacamole but in Ceviche is a different story, but I will still eat it if there is nothing else to eat. You can get some Mexican Ceviche in a little cup, but the real Mexican food comes afterwards. On the other hand with Peruvian food you get more than enough with 1 ceviche, that is the whole meal.

  9. I’m Italian Im neither mexican or peruvian and i must say peruvian is the best ceviche ignorant comments saying peruvians eat guinnea pigs Is like saying brazilans eat snakes. I have traveled to both countries and guinnea pig eating is in the very poor parts of the country. Its almost like saying all mexicans are illegals that jumped the border or all asians look alike. Educate yourself before speaking.

  10. I’ve heard that Peruvian ceviche is a bit too sweet for a lot of people who love seafood..but it would seem like peruvian is clearly the better ceviche as you’ve compared both.

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