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You are viewing blog entries filed under RECETAS - Cuaresma.

Two (True) Panama Easter Stories edit

Panama Easter Story #1:

A friend was shopping and purchased two bottles of non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice at our local grocery. The checker said she couldn't allow her to buy it because it was Holy Week. My friend does not bear stupidity well. "Look, she said, it says non-alcoholic. What part of 'non' don't you understand?" She demanded to speak to the Manager. He agreed that it said "alcoholic" and whatever "non" meant was not important - it was Holy Week. That was the manager in one of Panama's finest groceries! My friend demanded to speak to the owner, whom she knows well. The manager turned a little pale around the ears and said, "Oh, sell it to her!" and stomped away.

Panama Easter Story #2:

I was standing on the balcony of our apartment on the 5th floor looking across the street at the refuse station which was, as usual, a bit untidy and swarming with pigeons. A young half-starved man, early 20s, a Kuna Indian, was feeding the pigeons bread. I was struck by the sweetness of this Easter scene: a starving young man, sharing his only food with the pigeons. Then with a quick motion, he grabbed two of them and stuffed them into his knapsack. End of story.

Please stay tuned, lots of delicious recipes and stories will be posted soon!


easter, holy week, semana santa, pascua, panama, chef, melissa, cookingdiva, panamagourmet, personal chef
  • by Chef Melissa
  • April 08, 2007
  • 10:05 am

Pescado Apanado y Ensalada de Frijoles Negros edit

Dsc04371 Do not miss our previous related post: Food for the Soul: Holy Week and Lent in Latin America, with some delicious seasonal recipes...

Esta receta es deliciosa en cualquier época del año, de igual manera es perfecta para La Semana Santa o "Holy Week" en el calendario católico. Los ingredientes son muy fáciles de conseguir y el resultado es espectacular, por lo que no dudamos que se convierta en un platillo favorito en su mesa.

Ahora, sin más preámbulo, compartimos la receta:

Rinde 4 porciones 


  • 4 filetes de corvina pequeños (u otro pescado de su preferencia)
  • 1 taza de pan molido sazonado con 1 cucharadita de hierbas aromáticas secas, 1 cucharadita de caldo vegetal en polvo ó sal, y 1/2 cucharadita de pimienta negra molida.
  • 1 huevo, batido ligeramente con 1 cucharada de leche
  • 1/2 taza de aceite vegetal para freir el filete


Enjuagar los filetes de pescado y secarlos cuidadosamente con papel toalla.

Colocar la mezcla de pan molido en un bol y el huevo batido con la leche en otro.

Pasar uno por uno los filetes de pescado por pan molido, luego por huevo batido y por último pasar nuevamente por pan molido y sacudir el exceso.

Calentar el aceite vegetal en una sartén y agregar los filetes. Cocinar bajo fuego medio hasta que estén doraditos, voltear y dorar el segundo lado. Retirar de la sartén con la ayuda de una espátula y colocar en papel toalla para escurrir el exceso de aceite.

Servir caliente con la ensalada de frijoles negros. Entrar en el link READ MORE para obtener la receta...

lent, holy week, semana santa, cuaresma, receta, recetas, recipe, recipes, fish, seafood, pescados, mariscos
  • by Chef Melissa
  • March 28, 2007
  • 1:27 pm

Food for the Soul: Holy Week & Lent in Latin America edit

Dsc04382 In Panama and the rest of Latin America, Holy Week and Lent are among the most important dates on the calendar. Among the traditions of these dates is to prepare recipes where the main part of it is fish or seafood. Having this in consideration, and knowing the importance of the lent for many of you, we would like to share the following recipes from our collection.

My most vivid and fondest memories deal with growing up in a Latin American country. Sharing glimpses of those experiences could be a wonderful way to draw our friends and readers into a deeper understanding of Latin American culture.

7 Semana Santa (Holy Week), along with other traditional festivities in this part of the hemisphere, combines the religious beliefs of the observers with music, costumes, food, or other cultural elements to create a memorable event for local participants and spectacular sight for the visitors. In a few words we could say these festivities reflect the combination of three main influences: indigenous, European, African, and the role of the Catholic Church in Latin American popular culture.

Dsc02906 You may ask why is that Catholic festivals play such a large part in Latin American culture? It is because it's related to the history of this region. Spanish (and Portuguese) conquerors brought their religious beliefs with them when they came to the Americas, and these beliefs blended with the beliefs of the indigenous tribes in this part of the hemisphere at that time. Then, these two groups blended their beliefs with those of the African slaves that were brought to the "new continent" by the conquerors. At the end, those are the factors which have blended along centuries to give Latin America a unique culture of its own.

There are many other elements of Semana Santa that complete this festival, including participation in a passion play that depict the events from the Last Supper until the resurrection of Jesus.

Coc_1_2 Those that participate wear costumes and the plays are done with reverence for the events that surrounded the death and resurrection of Jesus. Finally, torchlight processions and many special foods, especially fish and seafood dishes and an array of homemade sweets which are prepared in an almost ceremonial ritual that includes many family members participating in the preparation of the goodies. 

We will share some recipes to prepare sweets and dessert in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!

Semana Santa truly is one of the most religious and solemn festivals within Latin America. We would love to learn about your experiences during these days and the recipes you prepared. So, drop me a line or two at the comments section of this post or send me an email.

Un abrazo,


lent chef melissa cookingdiva panama panamagourmet
  • by Chef Melissa
  • March 22, 2007
  • 12:15 pm

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