It’s generally agreed that ceviche originated in Peru and Ecuador — countries that separately developed the tradition of eating seafood raw after marinating it in citrus and other ingredients like chiles and onions. Mexico was also not far behind in developing its own types of ceviche. This way of cooking produces an opacity that is sometimes referred to as “cooked,” though it’s far different from the denaturation of proteins entailed by heating.
Other cultures have raw seafood traditions, such as the crudo of Venice, poke of Hawai’i, kinilaw of the Philippines, and sashimi of Japan, a country that has heavily influenced the ceviches and tiraditos of Peru in a mashup of flavors with Japanese cuisine. Today’s ceviches may have also been inspired by the escabeches of Spain, which douse cooked seafood with vinegar and vegetables.
Ceviches are now all the rage in New York City, and we’ve never had so many opportunities to eat them, not only in Mexican restaurants but in contemporary bistros that have adopted internationalized menus. And ceviches have proven a perfect way to enjoy the freshest local seafood. Here is a list of some of the best places to find it.
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