I’m headed to Bocas del Toro, what types of dishes should I expect to see?
The Bocas del Toro archipelago is rich in Afro-Caribbean, American, Spanish and indigenous cultures. The Caribbean’s food reflects a deliciously vibrant mixture of these influences. Unlike the majority of Panamanian dishes, spices play a bigger part will in Panama’s Caribbean cuisine, as evidenced by the use of jerk sauces, curry flavors and cilantro. While Panamanian cuisine on the whole can become pretty repetitive, cuisine in Bocas will keep you pleasantly surprised. You can expect to see dishes like “corbina con arroz” (sea bass with rice) and “arroz con coco y frijoles” (coconut rice with beans)—a very typical Bocas dish. You’ll also see “pargo” (snapper) cooked Caribbean style with onion and sweet garlic; patacones (pressed and fried yucca); the very rich Jamaican dish of “rondon”, a soup which includes fish, coconut milk and Caribbean vegetables; and other seafood-based dishes. To be sure, Caribbean food is delicious, but, for conservation reasons, I highly recommend not trying any dish involving turtles or turtle eggs.