LIMA -- Peru on Sunday reclaimed the Guinness world record for the largest ceviche after 300 chefs made six tons of the country's signature dish, a citrus-marinated seafood appetizer, enough to feed 40,000 people.
Five tons of fresh white fish, 2,500 kilograms of limes and about the same amount of onions, and 250 kilograms each of red pepper and salt went into Peru's massive effort to recover its place as world recordholder for the largest ceviche, an honor it had lost to Mexico in 2007.
"Today, after almost two years, we're recovering the Guinness record, which is fundamental for a flagship dish that represents Peruvian gastronomy," Alex Kouri, the president of the Callao region, told reporters while the chefs put the finishing touches on the gigantic dish.
To contain the ceviche, organizers used an aluminum container about 30 meters (yards) long, which was set up inside a sports center in Peru's main port, which is part of greater Lima.
"Ceviche is a dish that is excellent when very fresh, and which - in small portions - can be made in two or three minutes, but on this occasion, we've taken much more time to make it, (while) maintaining the quality," the president of the Association of Seafood Restauranteurs of Peru, Javier Vargas, told Efe.
The cooks who prepared the ceviche, most of them graduates of Lima cooking schools, spent the night cutting and cleaning the fish so that they could actually prepare the dish in a little over an hour on Sunday morning.
Once the dish was finished, authorities proceeded to weigh it and it was certified at a total of 6,791 kilograms (about 14,940 pounds), handily exceeding the 4,460-kg ceviche that Mexico had prepared in 2007 to snatch the title from Peru.
After the record was secured, the hundreds of assistants who had participated in the project lined up to sample their creation, sitting down with a plate of ceviche and perhaps a beer, which several vendors were selling outside the sports center.
Kouri added that if "any other city in the world ... (wants) to beat Callao, if they set a new record, we're ready to make an even larger ceviche."
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