Hmm, Ceviche— ¡que rico! But what exactly is ceviche?
One staple of Latin fare is ceviche, a citrusy seafood dish. Cured in lemon, lime, or other acidic fruit juices, ceviche is a raw seafood dish that must be prepared and enjoyed fresh. The requisite seafood is commonly a white fish, like flounder, mahi mahi, tilapia, sea bass, or sole, and shrimp. One way to think of ceviche is that it's like a shrimp cocktail with flair and, likely, fish, too. It can be prepared any number of fabulous ways and most interpretations are gluten-free, low carb, and dairy-free (though ask, because you do find ceviche with milk from time to time.)
What's in ceviche?
Versions of ceviche exist across Latin America, but at La Granja, we prepare ours the Peruvian way—and with pride! Peru is commonly seen as the originator of ceviche. While you may find Peruvian ceviches made with lemon or lime, it's also commonly made using tumbo, or poro poro, a fruit from the Peruvian Highlands. Ceviche isn't just seafood with acidic fruit juice, though.
In the Peruvian style, ceviche often has potatoes, corn, onions, cilantro, garlic, peppers, and whatever else the chef or home-cook adds for zest, like mango or avocado. The potatoes may be white or sweet potatoes and the corn may be one of many varieties, such as giant white Cuzco corn. These jumbo kernels are called choclo. If you're a Goya fan, you might have noticed Goya Los Andes Choclo Desgranado at the supermarket. This is the type of corn you often see in Peruvian ceviche (but not always!); the kernels are chewier and not sweet in the same way sweet corn is. In fact, choclos are kind of a starch fest. That being said, there are plenty of ceviches out there that make use of sweet corn instead. For contrast, Peruvian ceviche may include another type of corn, maiz cancha, a crunchy corn, in addition to choclos. They are super delicioso, as well. And, as is the case with much home-cooking, many homemakers and amateur chefs use whatever is available, either at their local market or already in their kitchen.
What's the origin of ceviche?
You may be wondering just how such a festive seafood dish came to be. Legend has it that pre-Columbian people cured fish using local acidic fruit juices like passion fruit and tumbo. The Incans cured seafood in chicha, which is basically a corn beer. So the indigenous people of Latin America started making the predecessor to ceviche a millennium ago! With Spanish conquerers arriving in the 1500s, these indigenous dishes started to shift due to trade and European influence. The Spanish brought bitter oranges and limes from their Mediterranean climate to Peru. Some food experts point out that Japanese cuisine has influenced modern-day ceviche, as there are many Japanese immigrants in Peru. Modern-day ceviches sometimes have a texture almost like sushi.
Seafood Fare at La Granja
At La Granja, you can order ceviche de pescado or ceviche mixto. Ceviche de pescado is ceviche with fish. Ceviche mixto is mixed ceviche with fish and shrimp.
Ceviche is not the only seafood option at La Granja. Of course, when you think of La Granja, you might not think of seafood. You probably have our famous Peruvian chicken in mind! That's pollo a la brasa, Peruvian rotisserie chicken for the unfamiliar. Or perhaps you're a fan of our irresistible rice and beans, yuca, or tostones. If you've tried our delectable chicken and sides, you should try our seafood and fall for it just as hard.
La Granja seafood platters include:
• Criollo fish, served with two side orders • Criollo fish with shrimp, served with two side orders • Fish in spicy sauce, served with two side orders • Fish in spicy sauce with shrimp, served with two side orders • Garlic fish, served with two side orders • Garlic fish with shrimp, served with two side orders
The side orders are just as much culinary fun as the main shebang. Sides include white rice, yuca, tostones, black beans, French fries, yellow rice, fried bananas, garlic potatoes, and house salad.
That's not all the seafood possibilities we have. There are also our specialties, which do not come with sides but are fabulous all on their own. La Granja seafood specialties include:
• Seafood rice • Macho fish • Seafood fried rice • Fried fish chunks • Fried calamari • Personal fried seafood • Family fried seafood • Seafood gumbo
La Granja also offers quick seafood options that are great when you want a bite to eat for lunch. For lunch specials, try:
• Fish sandwich served with French fries • Fish fillet with rice, beans, bananas, and soda
Find out more about La Granja’s ceviche and other seafood dishes at www.lagranjarestaurants.com.