Information on The Ethnic Food of Panama

Information on The Ethnic Food of Panama
Panama is a mix of many cultures and ethnic groups, including Chinese, Spanish, African and French. The history of Panamanian food and recipes is influenced by this mix of culture and culminates in a culinary adventure for any traveler.


Panama is a long narrow country, bordered on both sides by the ocean. Fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance including plantain, coconut, yucca root and mangos. Fresh fish offerings include octopus, seabass, shrimp and red snapper.

Fresh Food Choices

Traditional ethnic food in Panama tends to be based around coconut, rice, beans and meat, especially pork. Fresh fish is plentiful, and many people enjoy fresh ceviche, marinated in lime juice along with onions and peppers.

Fried Cuisine

Fried food is commonplace in Panama, from greasy fried pork with an Afro-Caribbean taste to Hojaldras, Panamanian doughnuts, fried bread sprinkled with powdered sugar. Plantains, a variety of bananas that are eaten like potatoes, are also served as a fried meal, cut in rounds and then deep fried but they may also be served broiled or sauteed in oil.

Outdoor Markets

Vendors in outdoor markets sell kebabs, a traditional Middle Eastern food, with pork, chicken or beef. This meal is typically followed by freshly steamed yucca with a side of chimichuri type sauce.

Traditional Flavors

Cilantro is an herb in a variety of Panamanian foods. Sancocho, a popular Panamanian dish, is a chicken stew with a cilantro sauce and a root vegetable called name.

End of The Day

Panamanians end their day with a cold beer, their most popular alcoholic beverage. A traditional drink is seco, an alcohol distilled with sugar cane and served with milk and ice.

Article Written By Jan Weiss

Jan Weiss is a freelance writer living in Northern California. She regularly writes reviews on local restaurants and businesses as well as for and numerous contributions to eHow. With more than 15 years in the art business, Weiss has become well known in this arena and is collaborating on a guide to the art publishing business, which will be published as an e-Book.

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