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Delicious Lost Desserts from Panama: Bienmesabe Chiricano edit

Bienmesabe_1It has been a long time since I last surrendered to the fragrant aroma of the delicious “Bienmesabe.” It was not because I was on a diet program or something absurd like -that-, it was because it is an uncommon Panamanian dessert prepared less and less mostly in the counrtyside. It takes almost a day to prepare in a wood stove, stirring constantly. But, the result is fantastic, delicious and such an unique flavour.

It is prepared using fresh raw milk from happy caws, rice, raspadura (panela) and spices. Cooking it at low temperature for long hours, stirring with a wood long spoon makes the trick for this sweet. Then, we make rounds using a leaf called “bijao” which we use for covering rices or stews, and desserts of course. We place the small round on top of a piece of bijao and let it cool completely before eating. Although I would easy devour a few warm if I am around. LOL!

But, what is the panela?, where does it come from?, and what can we prepare with it? Good question! ...I knew that your fancy would be triggered by my almost inadequate suspicion of your panela ignorance. Right? Do not take it personally, because you are not the only one. I know that it is a sad situation to be in, but I promise you will get over it. Well,...if you stick with us at least until you finish reading this post smile Tricky huh? Read the CookingDiva on Raspadura now!

First I found it at the “Mirador” going to the town of Volcan, about 45 minutes from Boquete. Then, I discovered at the Bus station in David a few days ago when I dropped off some friends that were visiting in town. Oh my my dear sweet tooth, I am so glad I have it haha! It was difficult to take the time to take the photos, but the end came when my tastebuds danced of pure happiness!

Bienmesabe_2Afortunados los que hemos probado “Bienmesabe”! Pasaron muchos años desde la última vez que mis papilas disfrutaran de la textura única de este postre tradicional Panameño, y no fué porque escogiera privarme por seguir una dieta absurda de esas muchas que he hecho en mi vida, sino porque cada vez este dulce es más escaso.

El procedimiento para prepararlo es largo, toma casi un día de cocimiento en fogón de leña, revolviendo constantemente con un cucharón de madera de mango largo para no quemarse el cocinero.

Se prepara utilizando leche cruda, arroz blanco, raspadura (piloncillo, panela) y especias. El cocinarlo por largas horas a fuego lento es el secreto de la textura y sabor único de este dulce. Luego de alcanzados textura y sabor buscados, se coloca una porción en “circulos” hechos con una hoja proveniente de una planta llamada “bijao” que se utiliza en la cocina tradicional Panameña para tapar arroces y otros platos, incluyendo postres por supuesto! Al utilizar esta hoja, lo cocinado adquiere un aroma único ahumado.

Para los que visitan la provincia de Chiriquí, podrán encontrar venta de este delicioso dulce en el “Mirador” casi llegando al pueblo de Volcán, al igual que en la terminal de autobuses en la ciudad de David.

Que tengan una dulce semana!
Chef Melissa

  • by Chef Melissa
  • May 24, 2011
  • 5:40 am

Comments

Picture of Chat Chat said on...
06.01.11 at 09:35 AM |

Que hambre me esta entrando al ver todas las fotos que has puesto por aqui… Menos mal que ya desayune!

Picture of Mónica Araúz Mónica Araúz said on...
07.03.11 at 11:43 PM |

Oh! tu eres lo máximo Melissa! :D

Picture of Yovanna .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
07.18.11 at 09:58 PM |

Oh my…my mom is going to flip when she sees this post. She speaks fondly of bienmesabe, which she remembers VERY well during her growing up years in Chiriqui. Now I’m drooling looking at the photo!

Picture of Giovanna Giovanna said on...
08.09.11 at 11:47 PM |

Hola Melissa,
Mi nombre es Giovanna, soy panameña y vivo en Madrid.  Desde el año pasado estoy haciendo un blog de cocina, procurando incluir receta típicas de Panamá. Hoy subo la receta de los huevitos de leche y haciendo una búsqueda en la web he llegado a tu página.
Me ha gustado mucho, aunque no encuentro ningún botón que me permita decirlo, por lo que me decido a dejarte estas líneas para felicitarte por tu blog. Seguiré visitándolo regularmente.
Si quieres pásate por el mío, está en wordpress, se llama bluejellybeans, pequeñas perlas de sabor (don’t ask!) y déjame saber tu opinión.
Un saludo,
Giovanna

Picture of Daniel .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
03.05.12 at 02:45 PM |

It doesn’t look that appealing to me but I’ll take your word for the tastiness.

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