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Volume 15, Number 4
March 1, 2009


Also in this section:
William J. Jorden, US ambassador to Panama during the treaty negotiations
A trip to Embera country with students, diplomats and former politicians
Drive it till the wheels fall off
Antillean Fare
Why use imitation vanilla when you can grow the real thing here?
US ambassador pays a visit to the Danilo Pérez Foundation
Carnival scenes: the Antillean Fair
Carnival scenes: Panama City away from the main spotlights
Carnival scenes: a traditional small-town celebration in San Carlos
Kite Festival
Diablos & Congos Festival
Tuesday Talks
Canada outsources its auto consumer guide writing to Panama (sort of)
First they messed with the buses, now the taxis
Bernal's ragtag army

Antillean Fare

The Caribbean Sea has many islands and a long mainland littoral, and among all of those lands there are many cultures and subcultures. One of the Caribbean cuisines is that of Bocas del Toro, with its strong Jamaican and indigenous influences and staples that come from the sea and coastal lowlands.

Anderson is the chef at Las Pencas on the Amador Causeway and that's pretty good food, too, but for the Antillean Fair he did something else. He ran a food stand that went back to his Bocatoreño roots. It was a tough job, but some journalist had to do it --- and why not assign a Colon Buay to try the spicy Caribbean fare?

So many people in the capital and Interior just don't understand, but we Atlantic siders do. Spice is nice. And Anderson's arroz con mariscos, Bocas-style, was appropriately spicy, delicious, nutritious and all of the other things one would want to say about well prepared food. Along with the rice, there was a piece of fried escoviched fish. "The spot" was hit, Antillean-style.

This reporter also sampled the torrejas de bacalao (fried codfish cakes), saril (a version with a bit of allspice in a Jamaican style) and isinglass (if you are unacquainted with this, you'd never imagine that a gucky-looking seaweed drink could taste so good). There wasn't enough room to try all the stuff at the many Antillean Fair food and beverage stands.

Photo by Ramona Rhoades


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© 2009 by Eric Jackson
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