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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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ceviche (the spelling preferred to seviche, which is, however, often used), a speciality of C. and S. America, particularly in Spanish-speaking countries (ecuador, peru, mexico are noted for it): raw fish (usually fillets) marinated in lime or lemon juice with olive oil and spices and often served as an appetizer. The name is said to come from the Latin cibus (food) via Spanish cebo (fodder, food, bait) and cebiche (fish stew). For a corresponding practice, of wider scope, in the Philippines, see kinilaw. See also escabeche which is something different but comparable. Indeed, it has been suggested that it could be a European ancestor, etymological as well as culinary, of American ceviche. See Barbara Santich (1985). This would mean the word derives from the Persian/Arabic sikbaj.