Ceviche enshrined as Intangible Cultural Heritage, an achievement for culinary heritage

15 de December de 2023

Peru is celebrating a transcendental achievement for its cuisine: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has officially recognised the Peruvian ceviche as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This decision took place during the eighteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in Kasane, Botswana.

El ceviche, emblema culinario de Perú

The proposal submitted by Peru, under the title "Practices and meanings associated with the preparation and consumption of ceviche, an expression of traditional Peruvian cuisine", stood out among the 55 applications evaluated by the Committee. This distinction places ceviche in a prominent position in the world gastronomic sphere, not only for its unique flavour, but also for its cultural and historical relevance.

Considered the signature dish of Peru, ceviche is a preparation that combines marinated meat, usually fish or seafood, with citrus seasoning. Although there are several variations in the Latin American region of the Pacific Ocean, in Peru it takes on a special significance as an integral part of its cultural heritage.

It is not only a recipe, it is a historical and social legacy and is closely related to our Peruvian coast and the Peruvian jungle and highland regions. Each region will prepare the ceviche accompanied by something characteristic of their region.

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Por ejemplo en la costa norte, el ceviche se hace con conchas negras, en la sierra central el ceviche se hace de trucha acompañada de mote (maíz seco cocido), e incluso el tipo de limón o cítrico que se usa es de acuerdo al fruto que crece en estas regiones.

In the jungle, paiche is usually used, and for the marinade, camu camuy juice is used, other ingredients are added such as aji charapita, sachatomate, sachaculatro, and in the southern highlands, ceviche is prepared with trout, but this time it is accompanied with roasted corn.

For these reasons, ceviche in Peru is considered a flagship dish because it highlights the native products of each region and what to say about the taste, it is unique compared to other countries that also prepare ceviche.

Ceviche peruano es decalarado patrimonio cultural - El ceviche consagrado como Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial, un logro para la herencia culinaria
Peruvian ceviche declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco

Promotion of cultural diversity.

The inclusion of ceviche in the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" aims to recognise and promote the diversity of cultural practices and knowledge of communities. This recognition urges all parties involved to collaborate closely in the preservation of these traditions, ensuring their continuity for generations to come.

An interesting linguistic fact about this dish is that, according to the Royal Spanish Academy, forms of spelling such as "cebiche", "seviche" and "sebiche" are also accepted.

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