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Bun, an Afrocaribbean Bread in Panama


[This is how a bun looks externally.]

This is how a bun looks externally.


[The bun has already been broken and the interior of it can be seen. There are raisings and other small pieces of fruit.]

The bun has already been broken and the interior of it can be seen. There are raisings and other small pieces of fruit.


By:

Marino Jaén Espinosa
2009-04-12

The bun is a semi sweet bread sprinkled with raisins and other fruits and spices such as vanilla and cinnamon. This tradition originated in England, but was brought to the Antilles during colonial times. There, the black slaves brought forcibly from Africa picked it up and incorporated the bun in their gastronomy.

The bun arrived at Panama during the 1880 with the building of the French Canal. Many of the workers for this project came from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, so the bun traveled with them. Then, from 1904 to 1914, with the U.S. completing the canal, another big group of black Caribbeans came to Panama, mainly from Barbados.

Today, the bun has broken out from the traditional areas of afrocaribbean culture in Panama, such as Colon City, Rio Abajo, El Chorrillo, El Maranon, Juan Diaz and Bocas del Toro. It is common now that Panamanians from every ethnic background enjoy the bun. It has even become a common dish for Holy Week, since it has been said that it represents the bread distributed by Jesus during the Last Supper.


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