Ceviche is a sort of seafood coctail, served and eaten as an entree in most restaurants. It's based on lemon juice: the seafood is placed in the lemon juice, seasoned, and left to "cook" for several hours. There's no heat involved, the acids in the lemon do the work, tenderizing the seafood and keeping bacteria from spoiling everything.
Many people add ketchup and mayonnaise before eating.
The dish is peruvian in origin, but has been adapted to local tastes.
There's several varieties of ceviche you'll find at restaurants:
- Tilapia (fish)
- Mixed tilapia/shrimp
- Piangua (similar to clams)
- Cambute (sea snail)
The first three are the most common. The rest are usually found on the docks or coastal areas, where the ingredients can be found more easy.
Ceviche should not have a strong fish smell. It should taste of lemon, without overpowing the taste of the fish.