If you've ever had the chance to savor "leche de tigre" — the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche — and loved it, you know how frustrating it can be trying to slurp the last of it from your serving bowl. But the idea of leaving that tantalizing combination of leftover lime and fish juice mixed with bits of sliced onion and chili pepper uneaten is simply not an option.
Luckily, at eight-month-old La Panza Latin Bistro in Deerfield Beach, you don't have to.
In addition to traditional ceviche, La Panza has a menu section called Tiger's Milk where each of the ceviches on the menu is available in wide-mouth eight or 12-ounce mason jars served with an extra portion of leche de tigre. It's the perfect container for "shooting" the remaining tiger's milk juice.
The idea is one chef-owner Rodolfo Mendieta has had since scouring his native Peru in search of the perfect ceviche. Today, that includes his restaurant's standard Clasica: finely chopped white-fleshed fish marinated in a bath of lime juice with a hint of limo pepper, ginger, diced onion, garlic, and cilantro served in an eight-ounce mason jar.
A rainbow of options let you choose a number of styles, from the Red Tiger (made with the Peruvian Rocoto pepper) to the Green Tiger (a minty burst of Huacatay-style sauce accented with Peruvian black mint).
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The must-try version, however, is the Carretillera: a 12-ounce mason jar filled to the brim with the Clasica recipe and topped with a heaping portion of fresh-fried calamari. When you're done eating, the glass makes it easy to drink away the last of the milky marinade.
According to Mendieta, it's a trip to the markets of Peru, a simple and convenient way to serve the country's national dish — and you only have to travel to Deerfield Beach to find it.
La Panza Latin Bistro is located at 131 Northeast Second Ave., Deerfield Beach. Call 754-212-4199, or visit the restaurant Facebook page.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.