Panama may not be the first destination that comes to mind for foodies, but the country has a diverse and rich culinary scene. From traditional dishes to modern fusion cuisine, Panama’s food scene offers a range of delicious and unique flavors. This article is a guide for foodies looking to explore the culinary offerings in Panama.

Traditional Panamanian Dishes

Panama has a rich culinary heritage influenced by Spanish, African, and indigenous cultures. Some of the traditional dishes that travelers should try include:

Ceviche: A popular seafood dish with raw fish marinated in lime juice, onion, cilantro, and other spices.

Arroz con Pollo: A classic chicken and rice dish cooked with saffron, vegetables, and other seasonings.

Sancocho: A hearty soup made with chicken, yucca, corn, plantains, and other vegetables.

Empanadas: Fried or baked pastries filled with cheese, meat, or other fillings.

Tamales: A dish made with masa (corn dough) stuffed with meat, vegetables, and other fillings, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed.

Panama also has a thriving modern culinary scene that blends traditional Panamanian flavors with international influences. Some of the contemporary fusion cuisine travelers should try include:

Patacón: A dish with fried plantains topped with meat, cheese, and other toppings.

Choripán: A popular street food made with chorizo (sausage) served in a bread roll.

Ropa Vieja: A shredded beef dish served with rice, beans, and plantains.

Seafood: Panama’s coastal location means that seafood is a staple of the local cuisine. Some popular seafood dishes include grilled octopus, fried fish, and shrimp ceviche.

Craft Beer Scene

In addition to its culinary offerings, Panama also has a growing craft beer scene. Travelers can visit local breweries, such as La Rana Dorada and Casa Bruja, to sample a range of locally brewed beers. Panama also has a range of bars and restaurants that offer a selection of craft beers from around the world.

Food Festivals

There are several food festivals held throughout the year for foodies looking to experience Panama’s culinary scene in all its glory. The Panama Gastronomica festival, held in August, is the country’s largest food festival, showcasing the best of Panamanian cuisine and international flavors. Other food festivals include the Panama Coffee and Chocolate and Coffee Expo.

In conclusion, Panama’s culinary scene offers diverse flavors and experiences for foodies to explore. From traditional dishes to modern fusion cuisine and craft beer. Panamá has something for everyone. Travelers should try some of the country’s signature dishes and explore the growing craft beer scene. With its food festivals and unique culinary offerings, Panamá is a must-visit destination for any foodie.


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