The inflation that currently affects the price of some foods in Peru is forcing us to look for alternatives to ceviche, one of the star preparations of the country's gastronomy. Not only has the cost of the onion and sweet potato, essential ingredients for the recipe, skyrocketed, but also that of the lime with which the leche de tigre is prepared, which is why Alex Contreras, Minister of Economy of Peru, has advised consumers to eat less of this dish: "if this week I hoped to prepare a ceviche, I would replace it with a salted chicken", he assured.
The rise in the price of lime has been constant in Peru for three months now, with a maximum peak in August, a month in which it increased 69.8% according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI). The reason is mainly due to the El Niño Phenomenon, which is currently going through the country. All of this has led Minister Contreras to assure in an interview that one of the solutions to this situation is to consume smaller quantities of this food: "if there is no demand, what will happen is that the price will adjust."
Contreras's recommendations were criticized on social networks, where several users assured that looking for alternatives to ceviche is not the solution to stop the rise in lime prices. Such is the case of former Peruvian congressman Víctor Andrés García, who expressed his discontent on his Twitter account: "and when these are missing, will we resort to sweet potatoes?"
According to information from INEI, it is still not possible to establish when the price of lime will stabilize. However, the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation assures that it will probably drop between October and November, a period in which harvests increase.
Consumers have also expressed concern about the possible rise in the price of this dish in cevicherías and restaurants. According to Javier Vargas, president of the Association of Marine and Allied Restaurants of Peru, the price of ceviche will not be affected, but the aim is to reduce the portions and look for alternatives to the use of lime as the main ingredient: "Let's remember the recommendations from chefs like Gastón Acurio or Virgilio Martínez. We have camu camu, which can give ceviche an exotic flavor and has 3 times more acidity. Likewise, we can replace lemon with aguaymanto, cocona or tumbo", explained Vargas in an interview with the newspaper La República.