Delve into the Flavors of Panamanian Cuisine

Delve into the Flavors of Panamanian Cuisine: A Culinary Journey

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Panama proximity to the sea is evident in its delicious seafood offerings. Be on the lookout for shrimp, crab claws, lobster tails and different forms of fish served up in various forms.

Experience Panamanian style potato chips by munching on “tostones”, made from thoroughly fried chunky green plantains that have been thoroughly battered for an irresistibly crunchy snack.

1. Sancocho

Sancocho is a delicious meat and vegetable stew, often enjoyed as comfort food at any meal of the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner! Containing an array of ingredients like beef, chicken, pork, yuca plantains and corn in an aromatic broth; usually served alongside rice and avocado as side dishes.

Sancococho embodies Panama’s rich mestizaje, as different regions showcase regional variations. For instance, Barranquilla serves a version that includes guandul – an Afro-Caribbean grain brought over from Africa by Spain; Chitre offers corn and root vegetable dishes to showcase this region’s agricultural bounty.

Many families add additional vegetables like yams, taro and squash into their stew recipes to keep it interesting and customize it according to taste. There may also be various garnishes and condiments offered so diners can customize their bowl of sancocho. It is traditionally served in large soup bowls so people can share it among family and friends.

2. Carimanolas

As far as street food goes, nothing tops a carimanola for its distinctive tastes and culinary heritage of Panamanian cuisine. Enjoy one for breakfast alongside coffee or in the evening while drinking wine – this yucca empanada offers one of the most unique tastes in Panamanian cuisine!

Carimanolas, which can be found both in Panama and Colombia before canal construction began, feature minced meat/fish/cheese combined in a crispy dough shell topped with culantro for extra flavor and zest. This tasty snack boasts the unique flavour that culantro provides.

Carimanolas are an immensely popular snack that are found across the nation, as it makes for a tasty appetizer or light meal at any gathering or party. Carimanolas make an easy addition to parties and family celebrations alike as well.

3. Chicheme

Panamanian cuisine is best-known for the popular dish known as sancocho: a hearty chicken stew prepared with starchy roots such as name and spiced with culantro (a stronger cousin to cilantro). But Panamanian food reaches beyond these staples with foods like yuca and corn providing essential fiber and vitamin content; avocados (also popular) providing omega-3s.

Ceviche, a fish dish that may have its origins either with Peru’s Incas or Central America’s Mayans, is another popular menu item in Panama and often served with tortilla chips as part of lunch service. Corvina ceviche in particular is particularly beloved.

If you’re craving something sweeter, chicheme, a drink made of fresh milk and ground corn that’s often spiced up with cinnamon or nutmeg can provide just the sweet touch to satisfy cravings. And no meal would be complete without plantains or patacones as an accompaniment along with rice and beans!

4. Plantain Chips

Plantains (patacones in Spanish) are an integral part of Latin and Caribbean cuisine. A member of the banana family, these plantains differ significantly in appearance and taste compared to their banana counterparts; starchy rather than sweet-tasting they can be enjoyed at any stage of ripening and can be prepared a variety of ways for consumption.

Plantain chips can make an excellent snack, starter or side dish to many dishes. Perfect as an accompaniment for jollof rice, spicy barbequed meat or tomato stew; or pair it up with salsa, guacamole and pico de gallo for even more tasty options!

Plantain chips can be made by cutting green or ripe plantains into thin slices and frying in oil until golden-brown in color, lightly salted for flavoring purposes and stored in an airtight resealable bag for convenient snacking or meals on-the-go.

5. Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja, or Panamanian beef stew, is a hearty traditional meal beloved in Latin American countries such as Panama. Boasting tenderly braised shredded meat paired with beans and vegetables cooked together in an irresistibly spicy sauce, Ropa Vieja makes an excellent accompaniment for rice, plantains or arepas as part of any Panamanian menu. Furthermore, Ropa Vieja makes an excellent keto-diet-compliant option; adding in vegetables such as roasted corn or spicy green beans may help bulking up this traditional dish even further!

It has been suggested that this stew, commonly known as “old clothes,” derives its name from being cooked up from clothing discarded by penniless individuals in need. Or it could refer to its resemblance of long, shreds of beef during cooking time.

The GOYA(r) Ropa Vieja stew features flavorful flank steak and zesty bell peppers for an easy way to get plenty of umami-rich beef and vegetables all at once. Enjoy it alongside some fried plantains or frozen ripe plantains as a main course dish; leftovers can also be used in tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls or Cuban-style sloppy joes!

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