Traditional Panamanian food reflects the influence of its Latin American neighbors, but is primarily a mix of Afro-Caribbean and indigenous cooking. Panama’s subsistence diet never depended on corn. Game and fish were always sources of protein, and corn was eaten mostly in the form of thick tortillas or maize gruel. The country is a melting pot of nationalities and ethnicities, with Spanish, American, Asian, and African and indigenous food all influencing the local dishes.
The food of Panama is vibrant with fresh seafood and tropical embellishments, such as mango and coconut.
Traditional Panamanian food usually includes meat, coconut rice and beans accompanied by local fruits and vegetables like yucca, squash and plantains. The food is spicy and flavorful, but not necessarily hot. It relies heavily in garlic, cilantro (coriander), and onion, but the ever present bottle of hot salsa is never far away. Breakfast includes eggs; various fried meats and deep-fried corn tortillas, which are thicker than Mexican tortillas
Coffee is a traditional way to start the day and the country grows some of the most popular coffees in the world. Cafe con leche, or coffee with milk, is served with sweet condensed milk, not fresh milk.