Dec 9, 2008

World - Peruvian chefs serve up world's largest ceviche

Peruvian chefs, elbow deep in almost seven tonnes of diced fish, onions and lime, on Sunday smashed the Guinness record for the world's largest ceviche, a Peruvian seafood specialty.

The dish, made from raw fish marinated in lime juice that "cooks" it, weighed in at 6.8 tonnes, more than 2 tonnes bigger than the previous record.

Some 450 students and chefs worked in an open-air stadium in Callao, the port district of Peru's capital, dicing and mixing white fish with lime, salt, onions and hot peppers.

A Guinness Book of Records representative was on hand to make the count official.

"Today, we have brought together all the people of Callao so that in the name of Peru, we can take back the Guinness record," said Callao's regional president Alexander Kouri, who stood in front of 14 giant metal containers filled with fish.

The previous record for the largest ceviche, weighing in at 4.5 tonnes, was set in Mexico in 2005. Prior to that, Peru held it at 4.1 tonnes.

To weigh the dish, students scooped the ceviche into smaller boxes that they put on a movable scale. It took two dozen hands to lift each container.

Ronald Espinoza, 25, a student who helped make the ceviche, said the dish gives people a reason to gather and celebrate.

Hundreds of local residents waited outside the stadium for a plate of ceviche, eaten in Peru since the time of the Incas.

"A Peruvian who does not eat ceviche is not Peruvian," said Espinoza.

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