Ceviche, also cebiche, seviche, or sebiche (Spanish pronunciation: [seˈβitʃe]) is a South American seafood dish that originated in Peru, typically made from fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices, most commonly lemon or lime, and spiced with ají, chili peppers or other seasonings, including chopped onions, salt, and coriander.
Because the dish is eaten raw, and not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh and consumed immediately to minimize the risk of food poisoning. Ceviche is often eaten as an appetizer; if eaten as a main dish, it is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors, such as sweet potato, lettuce, maize, avocado, or cooking banana.The dish is popular in the Pacific coastal regions of western Latin America. The origin of ceviche is Peru, where it is considered a national dish. The technique of macerating raw fish and meat in vinegar, citrus, and spices (escabeche) was brought to the Americas from Spain and is linked to the Muslim heritage in Spanish cuisine. However, archeological records suggest that something resembling ceviche may have been consumed in Peru nearly two thousand years ago. The dominant position Lima held through four centuries as the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru allowed for popular dishes such as ceviche to be brought to other Spanish colonies in the region, and in time they became a part of local cuisine by incorporating regional flavors and styles.