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Mind, Body & Soul (Ceviche) by Maili

Super foods a go-go. Maili gives us both the inside track and the venue on Ceviche

Peruvian Ceviche-Ultimate Summer Food

As we are on the fabulous island of Ibiza, one of the bounties available is super fresh seafood. In the heat of summer the most refreshing way to prepare fresh fish is ceviche. If you don't eat fish, keep reading as there are vegetarian options.

Ceviche is fish, usually whitefish or shellfish, that has been ‘cooked' in an acid bath of lemon or lime juice. Depending on the fish it can take between 5 minutes and three hours to marinate to perfection. So yes, this is a raw fish dish. Luckily, if you are squeamish about eating raw fish you could cook your fish lightly first then marinate it. Or use cooked shrimp.

Or if you are squeamish about eating flesh you can substitute shredded tempeh, or Lupini beans in place of the fish.

Ceviche originates from Peru but has spread across central and south America so each country has a regional variation.

Peruvian ceviche is dry, pulled from the lime marinade, heated with chilies and made with chunks of fish. Ecuadorian ceviche is less spicy and it's served in the lime juice it's marinated in and the ‘soup' is drunk at the end. Supposedly, this liquid mixed with a shot of vodka is a great hang-over cure. Personally, I think lots of water and rest is a better hangover cure. In Mexican ceviche, the fish is more finely chopped and there is always tomatoes and cilantro added. Each region serves the dish with different side dishes.

In Ibiza there is a Peruvian named Aldo who makes one of the best ceviches I have ever had. The accompaniments are part of making it an extraordinary food experience. Ceviche, steamed big corn, fried crunchy big corn and yams round out the dish.

Aldo owns La Querencia in Santa Eulalia (Calle Pintors Puget 5, phone: 971 31 96 94). If you want to order ceviche you need to call or drop by no later than 11 am on the day you want to eat. Then come by anytime between one and four thirty for your lunch. If any of your party don't like fish Aldo also has ½ or whole roast chickens. The chicken's are marinated in Peruvian spices and might just be the best roasters on the island. Seriously.

You can pre-order some other Peruvian cuisine to go with your meal: Causa Limeña, a mashed potato ball stuffed with tuna and avocado and topped with chili sauce; or Papas à La Huancaina, potatoes cooked in milk, cheese and orange chili's. Remember that potatoes come from Peru as well so there is a good chance these will be some of the best potato dishes you have had in your life. The food is beautifully presented and absolutely affordable.

Aldo came to Ibiza by way of Geneva so he loves to practice his French on customers who can oblige him.

Personally, I love ceviche. It's nutrient dense, low in fat and high in flavour. Mexican ceviche has a special place in my heart. I love the diced fish, seeded tomatoes, white onion, cilantro, Serrano chile and lime juice simplicity of it. Garnished with avocado if need be and eaten with corn chips.

There is a Catalan raw fish salad called Empedrat but it is not ceviche as there is no acid to cook it.

I am not leaving you with a recipe today as I have happened upon a website that has beautiful photos and multiple excellent ceviche recipes. www. Laylita.com

Maili Dinim is a Yoga Instructor and Natural Food Chef. She can be contacted via MailiDinim.com

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