This week on the farm, we’re taking a fish favorite for a spin. We’re making Ceviche! For those of you that want to sound like pro’s when talking about this amazing dish it’s pronounced more like (Say-vee-chay).
SO what is it, and were does it come from? While it is the National Dish of Peru (1), the true origins are lost to history. Many coastal countries have their own take on the dish. But in essence, it is a raw fish salad. Doesn’t sound as appealing when put that way but it is a delicacy. The fish, or even shrimp at times, is “cooked” in a citrus juice marinade. For all you science nerds, what’s happening is the proteins in the fish are becoming denatured (2). The strong acid content in the citrus juice causes cell death. While this process does not kill bacteria or parasitic worms, you have nothing to worry about when consuming fish from Taino Farm.
What does Ceviche contain other than citrus marinated fish? Some of the forward flavors found are: onion, cilantro (or coriander leaves for those of you across the pond), and chilies. The Dominican Republic has amazing abilities to grow chilies of all varieties. We currently have a few varieties producing on the farm. Including Jalapeño and Habanero. This Ceviche is not spicy. If anything, it’s slightly sweet.
What’s in our Ceviche?
The Ceviche prepared in the video below is one inspired by what is currently fruiting on the farm. Curating a true Farm-to-Table experience. Currently, the farm has more than a handful of mango trees bursting with fruit. The avocado trees are also something abundant. And the tomatoes are spectacular. We used fresh Tilapia for the dish. Tilapia is a white meat fish with a light taste and versatile meat. The dish is served cold, and all ingredients are cut to tiny bite sized pieces for greatest citrus exposure.
The dish is usually paired with some sort of carb that acts as a spoon to help shovel it into your mouth. If any of you have had this dish in Mexico, you might have had it served with tostadas (fried or baked corn tortillas) or even soda crackers. Here on the farm, we have plantains which make an excellent pairing. The plantains were twice fried, in the tostones fashion, and served hot.
Follow our cook Yocairy as she assembles a Taino Farm take on Ceviche, and visit us to experience it for yourself!
Note from the camera person: Everyone knows me as Yenni- It’s like Jenny with a “YAY” in front of it. Mexican by way of Los Angeles, which means I grew up between two worlds. Holding space for my Mexican identity and heritage and navigating American systems as the “Other”. I’m a Gender Queer Activist who has been organizing and mobilizing for over 15 years. The past few years of my life have been focused on adventure traveling and a couple teachings have stuck with me. First, “La vida se vive por la muela” which roughly translates to (You live life through your teeth) – as in food is life. And second, “Lo politico comienza por el plato” which translates to (Politics begin on your plate). I’m vegan, for intersectional reasons, and I believe that aquaponics is a revolution. While I do not consume the fish myself, they are vital for producing high quality fresh foods. Aquaponics has, can, and will change food environments. I’m excited to be a part of a Farm and team that has the complete life cycle of the fish happening all under one roof.