This definitely is one of the finest dishes, it’s just raw fish marinated with citrus juice which tends to kill the odour and pungency of it; was the thought in my head when I first got to try the Ceviche as an on-going Peruvian 3-day food festival at Hyatt, Bikaji Cama Place, New Delhi. This was pulled off by Chef Bruno Andres Santa Cruz a native Peruvian who flew in from Hyatt, Istanbul, especially for this event.
This wasn’t my first brush off with Ceviche, to say the least; it was mentioned to me numerous times, on my food & travel forum named The Backpacking Epicureans. The dish missed my attention back then but now I certainly want more of it.
Peruvian cuisine has predominantly Inca empire influence which was in-turn influenced by western Europe (namely Spain, Germany and Italy) with bits of Mediterranean and far-east like Korea and Japan. The surprising differentiation in most of the European and Peruvian cuisine is most of the ingredients and from Europe but it’s not loaded with cheese and prefers a relatively modest way of preparation like the far-east and Africa, with a heavy reliance on Super-foods like Quinoa.
A Step up from Ceviche was the Papaya Tiradito which is sliced fish, unlike the cubed one for Ceviche and it has no pre-marination and only gets a downpour of citrus, right before plating; which rules out any possibility of even slightest cooking with the acids. This dish was mostly bought in honour of the Japanese who settled in Peru.
A Causa was also served which is a lot like mashed potatoes with the only difference that it could be topped with numerous vegetables and the tuber (i.e. potato) used is a traditional Peruvian one which is different from our India potatoes which also came from Spain, if we look back in history.
The festival was a grand success and a complete new wave away from the usual array of food mostly available to us, The food is apt for anyone who wants to savour the meat and yet feel light as feather.