On my most recent trip to Peru, a small group of us went out for afternoon ceviche at one of Peru’s most celebrated cevicherias, La Mar. (Ceviche, for the unindoctrinated, is a Peruvian specialty featuring local seafood marinated in citrus) International foodies will love this article in the NY Times profiling the restaurant scene in Lima, in which La Mar’s celebrity chef Gastón Acurio muses on the great unity of culture that occurs at the culinary crossroads of South America.
Our experience at La Mar was truly a feast for the senses; eye-popping presentation, fresh aromas of the sea curling at our noses, and of course, an amazing procession of flavors dancing across the palate.
I’m a cautious pescatarian, which means that I do eat seafood, but only when I know it has been locally and sustainably sourced.
Seafood is often a fantastic culinary port to understanding local cuisine, and supporting local fisheries and livelihoods can leave a positive impact.
But some of the world’s fishing and seafood harvesting operations are the aquatic equivalent of slash-and-burn agriculture, and something the thoughtful traveler will try to avoid, both at home and on the road.
Luckily, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has our backs on this one. Their Seafood Watch program keeps an updated tally of which fish and seafood is best to eat, and which to avoid. Their website is full of great information about sustainable oceans and understanding why your seafood choices matter.
You can even download the pocket-sized version of their seafood recommendations guide and pack it around in your purse for on-the-fly sustainable seafood choices.
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