La Trapiche: Getting that first Authentic Panamanian Meal

September 18, 2012

Waking up to the Journey, my hosts were conscious enough to give me a little time to get myself together.  The time shift is only 1 hour, but that is not the primary factor…based on my experience traveling internationally!  It is really more of the mental drain that comes with shifting to a different culture…hearing different languages…conceptualizing different challenges in society, economics, governance…and the individuals….a completely different set of stimuli…

Jaime, picked me up…and drove me by Roberto Duran’s restaurant and home …you remember him!  Mr. Hands of Stone….I forgot that he was Panamanian….keep this in mind…to feel the spirit of this blog…When you say Panama…don’t pronounce the ‘a’ differently throughout the word…pronounce it the same ‘a’ = ‘ah’…’Pah-Nah-Mah’…

It is one thing to be introduced to someone from a different culture who also speaks a different language…quite another to open your dependency…then again, Jaime speaks great English…so he makes getting to know him, much easier 🙂 … With that said, I don’t understand why someone would leave the U.S. and then eat the same food they eat in the U.S….then again, I do understand that…but that is the subject of a more personal conversation 🙂

First stop, an authentic Panamanian experience… “FOOD” 🙂  This place is called ‘La Trapiche’ which represents a machine and process utilized to grind in the rural areas….its reference exemplifies authenticity…not other cultural influences…the fellow in the front, is what you find in many other countries…’he who runs the parking lot’ 🙂  he is how you get in the lot and out! 🙂  Same thing in Asia…same same in Africa…well, commonality with Central America!

I am a firm believer in ‘full cultural immersion’….Panama is hugely influenced by what takes place in the United States.  In fact, it has to be one of the must culturally eclectic places…considering that this is where the world meets through trade and development….you will find a little bit of everything here.  With that said, Dominoes, KFC, McDonald’s are everywhere.  You know you are in trouble when McDonald’s delivers 🙂  However, I am in no danger of experiencing that…
So Jaime made sure to hook me up with some authentic Panamanian fare….So yes, I am doing my Anthony Bourdain:

Okay, this is a mix of several different meets, corn and such.  Put a little pepper sauce on it and it becomes food for the gods 🙂  Especially the small dish of chicken…mmmm…used that to flavor the dish.  I won’t translate what all of it is…as that may ruin the experience for those of my children that are in Spanish class…I didn’t eat all of it…but sampled most of it!  This is the description:

More to come!


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