In Sacramento, Mexican restaurants are everywhere you turn. But one thing distinguishes those spots—and California restaurants, in general—from other Mexican joints around the country: the prominence of fresh-from-the-Pacific seafood. Perhaps no other dish showcases the subtle sweetness of fresh seafood and the bold flavors of Latin American cooking more than ceviche, which many Sacramento restaurants feature on their menus. Read on to learn a bit more about this popular seafood concoction.Ceviche: A Tangy Bite from Beneath the SeaGenerations of cooks have mingled the bountiful catches hauled in from Pacific waters with the tart juice of the limes first introduced by Spanish traders to create ceviche. These bits of cod, sea bass, and shellfish are left to marinate along with a simple spice blend of chili peppers, cilantro, onions, and salt. Over the course of the next hour or so, the acids in the juice work their chemical magic, denaturing the proteins in the raw seafood without the help of heat.Regional TwistsIn Mexico, ceviche is often made with fresh tomatoes and served with tostadas; Ecuador favors a tangy tomato sauce similar to that used for shrimp cocktail and the addition of crunchy morsels such as corn nuts. The ceviche varieties in Peru, where the dish was invented, number more than 400. And many Caribbean nations put their own spin on it, too, adding native fruits and vegetables to make it their own.Where to Get Your OwnFor some of the best ceviche in Sacramento, head to these spots: Las Islitas: 7240 24th St. Taqueria Garibaldi: 1841 Howe Ave. Zocalo: 1801 Capitol Ave.
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