Panamanian Cuisine

Panama is the home of various natural wonders containing diverse types of trees and species. With those, also come diverse cultures that shape Panama into the complete and wonderful country that it is. With those combinations come various types of culinary wonders.

In Panama, there is a significant amount of traditional foods. Some great traditional Panamanian dishes contain coconut, seafood, root vegetables (starches), and tropical fruits, given that it is the produce that is mostly grown and found here.

This is what a typical day of Panamanian food would be like:

For breakfast, we like to have our fair share of fried food. A perfect example of a Panamanian breakfast is a dish of hojaldras and tortillas de maiz con queso. Hojaldras are pieces of fried dough that can be sprinkled with sugar on top and tortillas de maiz con queso are corn tortillas with white cheese on top. These have a perfect balance between the sweetness of the hojaldras and the saltiness of the corn tortillas.

For lunch, we kick it up a notch. Panamanians love having patacones con pescado frito and this plate can be found in all traditional restaurants. Patacones are fried green plantain shaped discs and pescado frito is usually fried sea bass with a bit of lemon to give it some flavor.

For dinner, we enjoy a special dish called sancocho. This meal is composed of chicken broth, cilantro, ñame and yuca (two starchy vegetables). Sancocho is a very delicious and hearty given that it contains a lot of protein and starches and it is often enjoyed by rural people.

But… we can’t forget the dessert! We definitely have a sweet tooth. A very common dessert is called orejita. The name in spanish is literally “little ear” given that the pastry has the resemblance of an ear-like shape. It is made from sweet and buttery dough with heaps of sugar on top. There is no better way to finish a meal than with a crispy, buttery sweet orejita.

Aside from traditional foods, Panama also has other food options. With the course of time, Panama started adopting dishes that came from all over the place. Now, we have Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Greek food as well as many more options from different parts of the world. Today, one can have a culinary voyage around the world by going to these restaurants in the comfort of our own country!

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