This article delineates the ancient culinary origins of a stew made from ray meat, which remains popular to this day in villages on Peru's North Coast. The major components of the dish (ray meat, chicha beer, ají pepper, and mococho edible seaweed) are thoroughly discussed in reference to the pre-Columbian record and the preparation of the recipe. The ancient Peruvian tradition of fishing is outlined and numerous references are made to maritime imagery in the art of the prehispanic Moche people. The cultural tradition and architecture of the Moche serve as a backdrop for the entire discussion.

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