A colorful plate of traditional Peruvian ceviche served with sweet potatoes, a side of corn, and a wedge of lime

The Origins and Evolution of Ceviche: Peru’s Iconic Seafood Dish

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Ceviche is a popular seafood dish that originated in Peru and is now enjoyed around the world. The dish has a rich history and has evolved over time with the addition of new ingredients and techniques. In this article, we will explore the origins and evolution of ceviche, from its ancient roots to its modern-day popularity.

Ancient Origins

Ceviche has been a part of Peruvian cuisine for thousands of years, with evidence of the dish dating back to the pre-Colombian time period. The Moche civilization, which existed between 100 and 800 AD, were known to have prepared fish with salt and fermented corn. The Inca Empire also had a significant influence on the development of ceviche, using a similar preparation method to the Moche, but with the addition of aji peppers for flavor.

Spanish Influence

In the 16th century, the Spanish arrived in Peru and brought with them new ingredients such as limes, onions, and cilantro. These ingredients were quickly incorporated into ceviche, adding new layers of flavor to the dish. Over time, regional variations of ceviche developed, with each region of Peru using its own unique combination of ingredients.

Modern-Day Ceviche

Today, ceviche is a popular dish throughout Latin America and around the world. The dish has undergone further evolution, with new ingredients and preparation methods being used to create unique and innovative variations. In some countries, ceviche is served with a side of corn on the cob, while in others it is paired with crispy plantain chips or sweet potato fries.

In the United States, ceviche has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many restaurants offering their own take on the dish. Some chefs have even incorporated non-traditional ingredients such as mango or avocado into their ceviche recipes.


Ceviche is an iconic dish that is beloved by many. Its rich history and cultural significance in Peru have contributed to its popularity and widespread adoption around the world. Whether you prefer a classic preparation or a modern twist on the dish, there is no denying the appeal of this flavorful and refreshing seafood dish.

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