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Cod and Potatoes, a Lent Dish in Panama


[The first step of the recipe is to submerge the cod in water and also to cook the potatoes for a few minutes.]

The first step of the recipe is to submerge the cod in water and also to cook the potatoes for a few minutes.


[Then we fry choped onions and minced garlic.]

Then we fry choped onions and minced garlic.


[After a while, we add the rest of the vegetables.]

After a while, we add the rest of the vegetables.


[Then, the cod, in small pieces, es added to the mix.]

Then, the cod, in small pieces, es added to the mix.


[The dish is both seasoned and colored with achiote, a natural red dye.]

The dish is both seasoned and colored with achiote, a natural red dye.


[The last ingredient to be put into the mix are the potatoes.]

The last ingredient to be put into the mix are the potatoes.


[Here is the dish almost ready to be served.]

Here is the dish almost ready to be served.


[Cod and potatoes is usually accompanied by white rice and fried ripe plantain slices.]

Cod and potatoes is usually accompanied by white rice and fried ripe plantain slices.


By:

Marino Jaén Espinosa
2014-05-05

Nobody knows for sure how a coldwater fish from the Northern Atlantic such as cod became a traditional dish in tropical Panama. It may be that, centuries ago, salted cod used to be one of the main protein sources for sailors who embarked for months. At the same time, Panama began to play an important role in shipping, first during colonial times and then due to the opening of the Panama Canal.

In any case, bacalao con papas, or cod and potatoes, is a very traditional dish in Panama during Lent and Holy Week, due the Catholic dietary restrictions. Additional ingredients include garlic, onions, tomato, green peppers, cilantro and achiote. The result is a delicious and nutritive dish that could be accompanied with a variety of Panamanian sidedishes such as rice, salad and fried ripe plantain slices.


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