As many of you probably know, Panama and Colombia share a common history. After Panama obtained its independence from Spain in 1821, it didn’t have the resources to keep its independence, so it decided to annex itself to Colombia. It was not until 1903, that Panama decided it was time to separate itself from Colombia and become an independent state. The construction of the Panama Canal played an important part in this political decision.
Currently the ties between both countries are at its highest peak. Many Colombian merchants are investing important sums of money in Panama running away from the dangers of the leftist guerrilla (FARC) in their country. Important companies like cement factories, construction companies, brewers, and malls are now in Colombian hands. This has helped employment and economic development in Panama.
Colombian music like ballenatos, cumbias, pasillos and bachatas are heard in many Panama radio stations. I myself enjoy this genre of music, since my father came from Colombia; specifically from the city of Pereira, capital of the Department of Risaralda. This is “paisa” territory as well as the Departments of Caldas and Quindío.
The “paisa” food is finger-licking good. It has its own special flavor which has made it the cuisine of choice of many culinary experts. During my vacations to Colombia, I traveled to the cities of Medellín, Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta. On these trips, I enjoyed immensely eating Colombia food. Of all these regions, I prefer the “paisa” cuisine which has its capital in Medellín, capital city of the Deparment of Caldas.
Panama, as expected, has several Colombian restaurants. One of them is “El Rancherito Paisa” located at Via Argentina. My wife and I plan to visit this culinary oasis next Sunday, shortly after receiving my Pensionado payday. I can’t wait to order “La Bandeja Paisa”, the crown jewel of the “paisa” menu.
During my recent excursion to Via Argentina, I took several pictures of this two-story Colombian restaurant which reminded me of my father. These are the images that came out of my Birthday camera’s lens. Here we go.
I’m looking forward to visit this restaurant with my wife next Sunday. In a way, it’s an emotional encounter with the land of my father. Good Day.