Panamanian cuisine

Panamanian cuisine is a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American techniques, dishes, and ingredients, reflecting its diverse population. Since Panama is a land bridge between two continents, it has a large variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking.

Typical Panamanian foods are mildly flavored, without the pungency of some of Panama's Latin American and Caribbean neighbors. Common ingredients are maize, rice, wheat flour, plantains, yuca (cassava), beef, chicken, pork and seafood.

Main meals

The corn based tortilla de maiz viejo.

Many Panamanian dishes are made out of corn. The preparation is different from that of other Latin American corn dishes (such as corn tortillas and arepas), given that the kernel is first cooked in water and then ground in order to obtain a dough (as opposed to using corn flour to obtain the dough). Fresh corn is also used in some dishes. I Some of the main specialties are:


Panamanian sweets.

Others: suspiros, bocadillo, dulce de papaya, dulce de grosella, quequi, gollería (sweetened plantain fritter).


Special occasions


The traditional Panamanian dish for Christmas usually includes chicken tamales, arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), puerca asada, pernil, pavo (turkey), and relleno (stuffing). Bowls of fruits and fruitcake are set out on the tables along with the dishes. Along with these foods and dessert, a traditional drink is served called Ron Ponche (eggnog), consisting of two cans of condensed milk, three cans of evaporated milk, six eggs, and a half a bottle of rum and nutmeg for some extra flavor.


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