Learn To Cook Panamanian Food

 The Three Sisters Cooking School

An Anglo Overview of Panamanian Cuisine

At The Three Sisters in El Valle de Anton

A historic small city, masquerading as a smaller developing nation, most aptly describes the modern City/State of Panama. Separating two major oceans, each with its own distinctly different aquatic pantry, this narrow tectonic land bridge contains 5% of the world’s rain forests inhabited by 50% of the globes existing animal and plant species. This plethora of bi-coastal and interior biodiversity, evidenced by the republics cultural, ethnic and culinary differences, makes codifying traditional foodways or clarifying the colloquialisms for indigenous cultivars and animals extremely difficult. The manumission of the Caribbean Africans, brought peoples who spoke English, albeit with over fifty different dialects, to the Atlantic rim to settle subsistence farmlands. The Pacific Coast in turn had long been influenced by the Spanish as they transported silver from the mines of Potosi, Peru to their Atlantic treasure fleet via Panama City/Portobello and then home to Spain. These two culinary entourages when fused with the indigenous crops of the interior and tweaked by a well dispersed Pre-Columbian influence created the interesting, if not haute, cuisine of today’s Panama.

The dietary transition from homemade/unrefined to convenience/refined foods is just beginning to evolve in Panama. Starch like tubers, vegetables and fruits are still culinary benchmarks yet to be supplanted by the darlings of global agribusiness, GM corn and soy, and their minions of feedlot dependant livestock. This may be one of the few opportunities you’ll ever have to experience a culture’s diet before its iconic dishes become ossified vestigial tokens only served at holiday rituals and celebrations. Our class will discuss the major and minor starches used to make the fritter-turnover matrix for many enduring Panamanian constructs like Carimanolas, Alcapurrias, Tamals, Tamales, Empanadas and Aranitas.

In class we’ll prepare and discuss culinary archetypes using Yucca, Name, Otoe, Corn, Banana, Flour and Sweet Potato, several Plantains guises like Tostones, Patacones, Tachinos and Tentacion, numerous Arroz presentations including Paellas, Casseroles, Fried Rices and Desserts. A selection of Caribbean dishes embracing Chicken Curry Roti, Patty's and Corned Beef variations, Mondangos, Sancochos, Chow Miens, Gandules, Lentil and Bean constructs will also be formulated. Then finally we’ll set the table with a sampling of flavorings, condiments and sauces including Recaito, Alcaparrado, Chimichurri and Aji Chombo along with Sofrito and Encurtido. Individual half day class/degustations, meaning 1-3 students, are offered at $100 per student with groups of 4 to 12 available at $50 per attendee. The Three Sisters can also arrange tours of the local organic farm, coffee roasters and an in town baker who uses a traditional wood fired clay horno for the daily bread she sells in the village. And there’s always the farmers market, square trees, zoo-nursery, hot springs or petroglyph's to see during your stay in the oldest continuously human occupied volcanic crater in the world; El Valle de Anton. Contact Reinhild at boacon@sti.net, 6719.0825 or visit www.threesisters.biz for more information.

Service details

  • $50 to $100 per Day
  • Available Anytime
  • Duration: 4 Hour(s)
  • From 1 to 12 people
  • Starts at 58 Avenida Los Guayacanes, El Valle de Anton

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