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The pixbae, an interesting snack of Panama


[Pixbaes have a great variety in terms of sizes and colors.]

Pixbaes have a great variety in terms of sizes and colors.


[After they have been cooked, they are peeled by making a cut on their pointy ends.]

After they have been cooked, they are peeled by making a cut on their pointy ends.


[This is how a peeled pixbae looks like.]

This is how a peeled pixbae looks like.


[It is then cut in halves and the seed is taken out.]

It is then cut in halves and the seed is taken out.


[This is how they are eaten in Panama: Cut in four parts and seasoned with salt.]

This is how they are eaten in Panama: Cut in four parts and seasoned with salt.


By:

Marino Jaén Espinosa
2017-06-18

If you have ever been to Panama, you might have caught sight of some bright colored fruits being sold by street vendors. Chances are that, if you asked what was that, you received answers as varied as pixbae, pixvae, pifa and piba.

Those golf ball sized snacks are the fruits of the palm tree scientifically named Bactris gasipaes. It grows all over the tropical areas of Central and South America.

The pixvaes are cooked in hot water and then need to be peeled and cut in quarters. The seeds are taken out and then, the fruits are ready to be eaten. In Panama, we enjoy them in the traditional way, with just salt. However, in the past decade, the pixbaes has been the subject of gastronomical experimentation, with local chefs using them for creams, sauces and even pasta dishes.

If you see them on the streets, don't miss the opportunity to get some and taste a very popular snack appreciated from Panamanians of all walks of life, from the big cities to the countryside.


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