Everything You Need to Know About Empanadas in Panama City

  1. Panama City Panama food and dining
  2. Local dishes
  3. Empanadas

Panama City, the capital of Panama, is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and most importantly, its delicious cuisine. One dish that stands out among the rest is the beloved empanada. These savory pastries have become a staple in Panamanian food and can be found in almost every corner of the city. But what makes empanadas in Panama City so special? In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about these delectable treats - from their origins to the best places to try them.

So grab your appetite and let's dive into the world of empanadas in Panama City!First and foremost, it's important to understand what exactly an empanada is. This delicious dish consists of a pastry pocket filled with various savory or sweet fillings, such as meat, cheese, vegetables, or fruit. Empanadas can be baked or fried, and each region has its own variations and unique ingredients. In Panama City, you'll find traditional empanadas made with corn dough and filled with beef, chicken, or seafood.

Other popular variations include empanadas de hojaldre (puff pastry) and empanadas de maíz (cornmeal).Empanadas have a rich history in Panama City, dating back to the indigenous tribes who first inhabited the area. They were introduced to Spanish colonizers and have since become a beloved dish among locals and tourists alike. The combination of crispy dough and flavorful fillings make them a must-try for anyone visiting or living in the city. One of the most unique aspects of empanadas in Panama City is the use of corn dough. This gives the empanadas a distinct flavor and texture that sets them apart from other variations found in Latin America.

The most popular fillings include beef, chicken, or seafood, often seasoned with local herbs and spices. In addition to traditional empanadas, you'll also find variations made with puff pastry or cornmeal. These versions offer a different experience, with flakier crusts and different fillings. Empanadas de hojaldre are especially popular for their buttery and indulgent flavor, while empanadas de maíz are a great option for those looking for a gluten-free alternative. If you're planning a trip to Panama City, be sure to add trying empanadas to your list of things to do. You can find them at local street vendors, markets, or restaurants.

And if you're considering moving to the city, this is a dish you'll definitely want to familiarize yourself with as it is a staple in Panamanian cuisine. In conclusion, empanadas are a beloved dish in Panama City with a rich history and unique variations that make them a must-try for anyone visiting or living in the city. Whether you opt for the traditional corn dough version or try one of the puff pastry or cornmeal variations, you're sure to be delighted by the delicious flavors and textures of this iconic dish.

Where to Find the Best Empanadas in Panama City

Empanadas are a popular dish in Panama City, with many restaurants and street vendors offering their own unique versions of this savory pastry. If you're looking for the best empanadas in the city, here are some top spots to check out.

1.El Trapiche

Located in the heart of Panama City, El Trapiche is known for its traditional Panamanian cuisine. Their empanadas are made with a crispy corn dough and filled with your choice of meat, cheese, or vegetables.

Don't forget to try their signature hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.

2.Mercado de Mariscos

For a more casual dining experience, head to Mercado de Mariscos where you can find some of the freshest seafood in the city. Their empanadas de pescado (fish empanadas) are a must-try, filled with tender chunks of fish and served with a tangy lime sauce on the side.

3.El Buen Gusto

This family-owned restaurant is a local favorite for its homemade empanadas. Their dough is made from scratch and filled with a variety of fillings including beef, chicken, and even plantains for a sweet twist. You can also try their famous empanada de maiz, made with a corn dough and filled with cheese and jalapeños.

4.Street Vendors

While there are many great restaurants to choose from, don't overlook the street vendors when it comes to finding the best empanadas in Panama City.

These vendors often have their own secret recipes and offer a more authentic experience. Keep an eye out for stalls selling empanadas on the streets of Casco Viejo and the Amador Causeway for some delicious and affordable options.No matter where you choose to try empanadas in Panama City, you're sure to find a unique and delicious version of this beloved dish. So don't be afraid to explore and try different spots to find your favorite empanada in the city.

Tips for Trying Empanadas as a Tourist or New Resident

As a tourist or new resident in Panama City, trying empanadas is a must-do experience. These delicious pastries are a staple in the local cuisine and can be found in almost every street corner.

However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know what to look for and how to order like a local. Don't worry, we've got you covered with these helpful tips.

1.Know the Different Types

Empanadas come in various shapes, sizes, and fillings. In Panama City, the most common types are beef, chicken, and cheese empanadas. Beef empanadas are usually made with ground beef, onions, and spices, while chicken empanadas often have shredded chicken mixed with vegetables.

Cheese empanadas, on the other hand, are typically filled with melted cheese and sometimes ham or other meats.

2.Look for Freshly Made Empanadas

The key to a delicious empanada is freshness. Look for vendors or restaurants that make their empanadas on-site and avoid pre-packaged or reheated options. You'll know they're freshly made when they're still hot and crispy.

3.Order from Popular Spots

If you're not sure where to find the best empanadas, ask the locals for their recommendations or look for crowded spots. These are usually a good indication that the empanadas are popular and tasty.

4.Try Different Sauces

Empanadas are often served with different sauces that complement their flavors.

Some popular options include chimichurri, a spicy tomato-based sauce, and aji chombo, a spicy chili pepper sauce. Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations or try them all to find your favorite.

5.Eat Like a Local

When ordering empanadas, don't be shy to use your hands and eat them on the go. It's a common practice among locals and adds to the authentic experience.

The History and Cultural Significance of Empanadas in Panama City

Empanadas have been a staple dish in Panama City for centuries, with a rich history and cultural significance that makes them a beloved part of the city's cuisine. These savory pastries, filled with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices, have evolved over time to become an iconic dish that represents the fusion of different cultures and traditions in Panama. The origins of empanadas can be traced back to Spain, where they were originally made with a simple dough filled with meat or fish.

When the Spanish conquistadors came to Panama in the 16th century, they brought this dish with them and it quickly became a popular meal among the locals. Over the years, as different cultures and influences mixed in Panama City, the empanada evolved to include new ingredients and flavors. The indigenous people of Panama added their own twist to the dish by using local ingredients such as plantains and yuca in the filling. African slaves also contributed to the evolution of empanadas, introducing spices like cumin and coriander to give the dish its distinct flavor. Today, empanadas are not just a delicious snack or meal, but also a symbol of Panama's diverse cultural heritage. They are often served at special occasions and celebrations, such as weddings and holidays, and are enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. No trip to Panama City is complete without trying the delicious empanadas that are so deeply ingrained in the city's culture.

From their humble origins to the diverse variations and flavors, empanadas are a must-try for anyone looking to truly experience the food and dining scene of Panama City.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

General tv evangelist. Freelance social media specialist. Hipster-friendly twitter specialist. Beer fanatic. Typical student.