When one thinks of ceviche, decisively one thinks of raw and sour. In Ecuador things are different, if not contrary: here the ceviche is cooked and sweet. In some extreme cases, they even serve it with ketchup, sacrilege for many (or everyone), but quite extended. The problem in this case lies in the naming: if this dish wasn’t called ceviche, the expectations wouldn’t look towards the raw and sour, and the memory would be free of prejudices and ready to eat. However, when you are served Ecuadorian ceviche, first one must overcome the disappointment and adapt the appetite to the new presentation. If we define it in the cold light of day, really ceviche here in the middle of the world is a soup of seafood or fish, served kind of cold and curiously combined with tomato, orange and lemon, onion and coriander. In fact the tomato, main character in the Mediterranean cuisine, is native to the aborigine America. The word in itself (tomato) is in náhuatl, one of the mesoamerican languages. Then, why does it seem strange a ceviche in native tomato and not a gazpacho in extrapolated tomato?
WE EAT AT... Achiote
Finding Ecuadorian cuisine restaurants (not an inn or a tavern) is really difficult in Ecuador, so if I pass by one which claims to be so, I enter with no doubt. In Achiote everything is served quite elegantly, but taking no risks. It is only a rearrangement of the elements on the plate. This is the case of the llapingachos, perfectly correct on density, after which one is glad to have a drink by hand. The ceviche, however, did have a variation: instead of using tomato, the cold soup that flooded the steamed sea bass and prawns was made of tamarillo (tree tomato), orange, lemon and coriander. The drift is negligible and not quite right, but it gives us hope.