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Author Topic: Ceviche and escabeche  (Read 646 times)

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Offline AlligatorDicax

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Ceviche and escabeche
« on: July 30, 2018, 01:14:37 PM »
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  • (Partially diverted to this subforum, from <https://www.cathinfo.com/general-discussion/suggestions-for-mexican-food/>.)


    ceviche?

    At least a few words of explanation are called for, especially whenever suggesting a dish with a foreign name, don't you think?


    No garlic nor onion nor hot peppers!?  You're disqualifying escabeche [....]

    Ceviche [*] and escabeche [#] are both dishes of pickled meat, commonly seafood.  I would expect a Mexican restaurant to use onions, garlic, and hot peppers to provide some zing to either dish.

    •  Ceviche is cooked only, in effect, by chemical action caused by its acidic marinade/pickling; it's never cooked by heat (not even briefly).  Alas, the heatless preparation peculiar to this dish exposes humans to health risks (I'll discuss this issue in my next posting in this topic).

    •  Escabeche has comparable ingredients, but differs by being cooked by heat ("slowly" sautéeing in olive oil, in 1 recipe close at hand), as are its flavoring veggies: bell peppers (and hot peppers if added), onion, and garlic, before those main ingredients are covered with a simple oil-&-vinegar marinade/pickling.

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    Note *: E.g., <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceviche>.  Claimed native to Peru, and part of its "national heritage",  but eaten in Mexico for centuries.  I'm highly suspicious about this article's claims of origin via the Moors; in particular, that such claims have arisen from modern  Islamophilic political biases.  Do readers really believe that e.g., Basque &c. fishermen, who never capitulated to the Moorish invasions, and collectively spent centuries way out in the Atlantic, couldn't figure out--by themselves--some methods of preparing fish for immediate consumption whenever sea conditions made it way too dangerous to light any kind of fire for cooking?

    Note #: E.g., <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escabeche>.  In European culture, either native to, or naturalized in, N.W. Spain, e.g., Galicia or Asturias, or among the Basque fishermen of coastal Navarre.

    Offline AlligatorDicax

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    Ceviche Health Risks/Re: Ceviche and escabeche
    « Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 04:00:52 PM »
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  • •  Ceviche is cooked only, in effect, by chemical action caused by its acidic marinade/pickling; it's never cooked by heat (not even briefly).  Alas, the heatless preparation peculiar to this dish exposes humans to health risks [....]

    In particular, unlike when cooking with physical heat, relying on the chemical action of edible acids will not kill any-&-all parasites.  The preparation method of the subject dish is categorized by scientific experts as "raw or lightly preserved fish",  along with "sashimi, sushi, ceviche, and gravlax" [‡].

    Heat is not the only solution: Freezing to proper subzero temperatures also kills parasites, altho' as a practical matter, doing so requires commercial equipment [‡].  I assume, but do not claim to know, that the flash-freezers on-board fishing boats can achieve those specified low temperatures.  For some years now, such freezing has been an early step in preparing sushi or sashimi; it's at least "recommended" in Japan, and legally required in various Anglophone countries, including the U.S.A.


    •  Escabeche has comparable ingredients, but differs by being cooked by heat [....]

    Cooking that attains proper peak temperatures kills parasites [‡]; these temperatures are significantly lower than, e.g., the low smoking point of olive oil.  So eating escabeche does not pose the risks that eating ceviche does. 

    Instead, escabeche poses only those risks that are posed by consuming seafood cooked by other methods in a restaurant, e.g.: risks from any improper handling in the chain of custody from its raw suppliers to the restaurant, and from any unsanitary habits of restaurant staff.  The latter, I've read, can be rather reliably judged from the condition of the rest-rooms.

    My words above shouldn't be dismissed as squeamish alarmism: Parasites are relatively common in the flesh of ambush-predators that sprawl on the ocean bottom while waiting for their prey to appear.  I know for a fact that this is an issue for halibut (i.e., in California [†]).  I suspect that anxiety about cod from their fisheries based in New England and Maritime Canada wouldn't be easily dismissed, especially because 1 parasite is commonly called (ahem!) the "cod worm" [‡].

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    Note ‡: Robert J. Price, Ph.D., and Pamela D. Tom: "Parasites in Marine Fishes".  UCSGEP 90-7, August 1990.  <https://web.archive.org/web/20110927063512/http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/Pubs/parasite.htm>.  Coäuthor Robert Price is indeed California's publicly accessible expert for this Web-page's not-entirely-pleasant subject-matter.  And U.C. Davis (Yolo Co.?), where the state's flagship animal husbandry, food science, and veterinary departments/schools are situated, is exactly 1 of the prime places that a knowledgeable person would expect to find him.  At least back before the "Golden State's" 1990s series of budget crises provided financial excuses for it to begin abandoning its life-sciences responsibilities to the feds.

    Note †: Let's just say that what was, um, in the gut of my much-bigger-than-barely-legal halibut was far from being a microscopic anything.  More like a fine size for impaling as bait on a boy's fishing hook.  Do I hear a distant "Eeeuuuwww!"?


    Online Seraphina

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    Re: Ceviche and escabeche
    « Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 04:09:15 PM »
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  • These sound unappetizing.  I generally don't anything whose ingredients or preparation processes requires a degree in chemical engineering to understand them!  What's wrong with fresh or home-canned meat and vegetables?  

    Offline AlligatorDicax

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    Re: Ceviche and escabeche
    « Reply #3 on: July 30, 2018, 09:00:49 PM »
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  • I generally don't [crucial verb is missing here] anything whose ingredients or preparation processes requires a degree in chemical engineering to understand them!

    Then please allow me to provide you with some important additional information: To participate productively in this topic, you need to have an understanding of the difference between what is on-topic, versus what is off-topic.  Literal interpretation of the text of the Subject: of the topic often provides the most important indicator, as it does in this instance.


    What's wrong with fresh or home-canned meat and vegetables

    Having been provided no details, I drew 2 tentative conclusions from your question:
    •  Your "vegetables" are off-topic.
    •  Your "fresh or home-canned meat", judging from your lack of details, thus applying the most-common meaning, i.e., flesh from mammals or birds, are off-topic.

    But do feel free to originate your own topic in which you elaborate on whatever are your issues, which apparently do not belong in this topic.

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Ceviche and escabeche
    « Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 08:07:15 AM »
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  • .
    How can you tell when ceviche is done? What if it's almost done but not quite? 
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    Offline MaterDominici

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    Re: Ceviche and escabeche
    « Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 08:33:43 PM »
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    I saw this just now and thought of you. : )
    New SA restaurant all about ceviche and micheladas

    I've never tried ceviche, but I certainly knew what it was thanks to this thread!
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    Offline Vintagewife3

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    Re: Ceviche and escabeche
    « Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 10:22:32 AM »
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  • Are you trying to say these are bad for you? Because I’ve eaten at plenty of sushi joints, and never gotten sick. I could live off the stuff including ceviche. Ceviche It’s usually “cooked” in Lemon juice type marinade which kills bacteria. 

     

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