June 28 is National Ceviche Day, held yearly in Peru to commemorate the dish so ingrained in the country’s national heritage it commanded a day in its honor. While the exact origin of the seafood creation remains in dispute, it likely originated in Peru, brought by Moorish women from Granada. Today the dish is popular throughout the Americas, finding a place on U.S. menus in the 1980s. With each country putting its own unique twist on the dish, varieties aplenty exist, particularly in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.
Ceviche is fresh, raw fish cured in citrus juices and spiced with chili peppers. The acids in the citrus fruits cause the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, appearing cooked. The dish, commonly seasoned with onions, salt and coriander, must be prepared fresh, with certain fish fully marinating in the short time it takes to mix all the ingredients together and carry the dish to the table. Various side dishes traditionally accompany ceviche, with sweet potatoes, lettuce, corn, avocados and plantains among the most popular.
Traditional Peruvian ceviche consists of chunked fresh fish (typically corvina or sea bass) marinated in key lime and bitter orange juices with onions, chili peppers, salt and pepper. It is served room temperature with corn on the cob and sweet potatoes. Regional variations exist: In Lima, ceviche usually includes sole, while in Trujillo, it’s shark. In the past, the fish would marinate for three or more hours, but in the 1970s the Japanese-inspired influences of chefs Dario Matsufuji and Humberto Sato popularized a much shorter marinade time — several minutes in some instances. Ceviches are best served promptly and prepared to order.
To prepare ceviche in your home kitchen, keep in mind the following tips:
- Semi-firm, white-fleshed ocean fish are the best choices for ceviche. Avoid oily or freshwater fish.
- Buy the freshest fish possible; it should have a glossy, iridescent flesh.
- Keep it cold. Store your fish over ice in the refrigerator and make the ceviche the same day you purchase the seafood.
- Make sure fishmongers remove the bloodline, skin and bones from the fish.
- Chop all your ingredients to the same size to ensure they marinate evenly.
- Marinate appropriately, around 10 to 20 minutes; some fish fall apart when marinated for more than an hour.
- One-half cup citrus juice to one pound of fish is a good balance.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
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