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You are viewing blog entries tagged chiriqui.

Panamanian Shaved Ice - Delicioso Raspao’ edit

I am not sure when shaved ice was first introduced to our country Panamá, but going back on history it could had been during the railroad construction days when hot, exhausted workers needed a way to cool off.  They would shave a block of ice with a hand plainer and flavor it with juice.  The concept has stayed the same but the process has changed a bit in some places.  Nowadays, it is still commonly found sold in shaved iced stands or “carrito de raspao,” and also it’s being offered in its “gourmet” presentation made in a machine to shave the ice finer and faster.

Although I have not tried the gourmet version, I was told it’s sold for up to $3.00 each in some new spot in the Causeway zone in Panama City. The most common version, a delicious kind of “colorful street food” costs between $0.35-$0.75 each, some of them still use the original flavor recipes from long ago.

A couple of weeks ago I finally had the time to visit one of my favorite spots in my country Panama: the (republic)...excuse me, the province of Chiriqui in the highlands of Panama, sharing beautiful land with our neighbour country of Costa Rica. The photos posted today were taken there. Yummy Shaved Ice, 0.35 each…had two though!  smile

If you have not been there yet, well, what are you waiting for?

Enjoy now the pictorial delight, you can lick the computer screen under your own risk! LOL

Big hugs from the tropics to you and your loved ones!

Chef Melissa

  • by Chef Melissa
  • February 23, 2010
  • 4:10 pm

Escribiendo la Historia del Turismo Gastronómico en Panamá edit

comida panameña gourmetComparto este artículo que escribí en el 2007 para una publicación internacional, y lo re publiqué en mi blog The Cooking Diva para mayor difusión.

Somos varios Chefs panameños que hemos sido precursores en el campo del Turismo Gastronómico en Panamá. Entre ellos puedo mencionar a la Chef Elena Hernández y al Chef Charlie Collins, a quienes les envío un abrazo y las gracias por siempre haber apostado por Panamá en este rubro.

Hoy día seguimos dando el 100% por nuestro bello país, no solamente con mejores e innovadores Tours Gastronómicos, El Tour de Chefs y Team Building Corporativo con metodología de punta y el mismo cariño y profesionalismo de siempre!

Un abrazo a todos!
Melissa

  • by Chef Melissa
  • May 13, 2011
  • 8:30 am

Los Mejores Restaurantes - Places to Visit in Panama: Mosto Bistro (Chiriqui) edit

Nuevo Menú Mosto BistroConozca una de las provincias más ricas de Panamá y disfrute de las creaciones culinarias del Chef Fulvio Miranda, quien con su creatividad hace un uso fabuloso de los productos de la región Chiricana.
En su menú podrán encontrar platos con ingredientes orgánicos y gluten free (sin gluten).

Costo: Moderado
Dirección: Edificio Plaza Real, entre Avenida 9 de enero y Avenida Domingo Díaz, David-Chiriquí
Teléfono: 730-4852
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • by Chef Melissa
  • May 13, 2011
  • 5:28 pm

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

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