Does the acid in ceviche really cook the fish?

Ceviche (or seviche) is a popular Latin American appetizer of raw fish that's marinated in some type of acid and often combined with onion, tomato, and green pepper. The acid in ceviche, usually lemon or lime, salt, and chili peppers all work together to change the texture of the fish.

Many people think the resulting firmer fish is "cooked", but it is not. The acids do not kill bacteria or parastites the way heat does. When eating ceviche, it is important to know your fish has come from a good source and was handled in the best, cleanest possible way.

Recipe: Ceviche Perlita

Marge Perry

July 2011