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Panamanian Dishes You Should Try at Least Once (Part One)

When we travel, we have fun, but we also learn. At the same time, we live incomparable experiences that we will remember all our lives. That’s why, we are always looking for the best destinations for our travelers. But traveling is also about trying new flavors, tasting dishes that you will find nowhere else than in your destination. In today’s article, let’s dicover more about the Panamanian gastronomy and the dishes you should definitely try if you ever visit Panama.

The Panamanian gastronomy is one of the most diverse that we can get in the region, because, due to the history of this country, the Panamanian cuisine is influenced by many different cultures. African, American, Afro-Caribbean, Amerindian and Hispanic cuisines have influenced the typical dishes of this country, which is why it offers very varied and exotic combinations of flavors.

Typical Dishes of Panama: Introduction to Its Gastronomy

Many of the typical dishes of Panamanian cuisine can be found in other countries of the region, as it has great similarities with Latin American cuisine. However, Panamanian cuisine has managed to give its own touch to the same dishes that can be found in other countries. That’s why you shouldn’t miss trying one of their dishes, as each one of them is a new experience.

One of the ingredients that characterize the typical food of Panama is rice, which is prepared in many different ways. But soups are also very common, among which sancocho is the most popular of all. Panamanian cuisine is also rich in corn, plantains, chicken, meat, fish and shellfish, which are prepared in the most varied way possible to ensure the guest a culinary journey.

In addition, Panamanian cuisine is also rich in roots and tubers, so it is very common to find ingredients such as cassava, yam, ñampi and otoe among its dishes. Although it is a small country, it is ideal to travel all over it, since the different dishes that Panamanian cuisine offers vary according to the regions, and even its preparation is much more meticulous in some Panamanian cities than in others. That said, it is time for us to get to know the best dishes that the gastronomy of this beautiful country has to offer.


As we told you above, sancocho is one of the main dishes of Panamanian cuisine. It is a chicken soup prepared with yams, coriander, onion and oregano. The origin of this exquisite dish seems to be somewhere between the mixture of the American Indians and the culture of the Spaniards who came to conquer the New World several centuries ago.

Perhaps this is why it is a common dish in most of Latin America. However, Panamanian sancocho has a special place in this region, as its seasoning is much more particular.

Ropa Vieja (Shredded Meat)

At first glance, Ropa Vieja looks like nothing more than a plate of rice with shredded meat. However, it is necessary to taste this dish to understand the true flavor that it can have. Prepared with beef brisket, this shredded beef dish is one of the most popular lunches in Panamanian cuisine.

It is a dish that you cannot help but try if you decide to visit this incredible country, because, without a doubt, it is one of the greatest curiosities of Panama. Like sancocho, this dish can also be found in other countries of the region, but it is rare that its flavors take on the magnitude that they reach in Panamanian cuisine.


Tripe is one of the most popular soups in the region. It is a rather special beef soup, as the intestines of the cow (or pig in some areas) are used in its preparation. It is very popular and has been typical of the region since the time of the colonizers.

Its origin dates back to the time when slaves were only allowed to eat the remains of the cow with which they began to prepare this delicious dish that later traveled the entire continent as one of the best meals. Of course, we recommend that when you go to taste this dish, you do not make too many plans for the rest of the day, because tripe is known to send people to bed. And the truth is that there is nothing better than a good nap after a plate of tripe, one of the best dishes of the typical Panamanian cuisine.

Are you visiting Panama soon? Let us know in the comments below. And, if you want to know about more of the delightful Panamanian cuisine and its dishes, come back to check out the second part of our article.


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