Panama serves up a wide variety of food, from fried fare to fresh fish. The staples in Panama are rice and beans, usually served with chicken or beef. Some of the most interesting and tasty food can be found with street vendors.
Fondas are one of the most popular places to grab a meal on the go. These small kiosk-type restaurants serve their food from glass boxes heated by a light bulb. Most, if not all of the food served in fondas are fried. From rice to hojaldres, pork chunks to empanadas, pretty much everything will leave a layer of grease on your hands. Fondas also serve a soup called sancocho. Sancocho is a type of chicken soup flavoured with onion and cilantro. Order a side of rice and you have yourself a cheap, tasty, filling meal.
An abundance of street food can be found during Panama’s many festivals. On every street corner you will find someone selling anything from chunks of pineapple to barbecued sausages. One of my personal favourites is carne en palito (meat on a stick). I am sure this is not the most sanitary snack, but it sure tastes good. I’ve never been able to find out how even though thousands of vendors sell this street meat, each one tastes the exact same, sauce and all. Brochetas are another great street snack. These shish kabobs feature either beef or chicken and pieces of green pepper and onion are alternated on the stick.
Many Panamanian friends of mine tell me I eat street food that they wouldn’t touch. I guess this type of meal isn’t appealing to all tourists, but I haven’t had a bad experience yet! My one piece of advice is to ask the person cooking the meat for you to cook it well. The last thing you want is to have your vacation ruined by a bout of food poisoning.
Though you wouldn’t want to make a habit of eating street food on a daily basis, it sure can be a great way to get a tasty snack on the go. Watch the video below to learn more about Panamanian street fare.
|Written by Rebecca Tyre|
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