La Tapa Del Coco’s Food Tour in Panama City : Feed Your Soul One of the things I love most about traveling is food. There’s nothing more exciting than sitting at a table and looking over a bunch of dishes you’re about to try for the first time. I often spend hours researching the best […]
One of the things I love most about traveling is food. There’s nothing more exciting than sitting at a table and looking over a bunch of dishes you’re about to try for the first time. I often spend hours researching the best and most ‘authentic’ restaurants in town and then, once satisfied with the findings, I dive in.
You can understand a lot about a culture through its food habits – the way people eat reveals a lot about their traditions. In many Asian countries, the eldest person at the table is always the first to start eating, reflecting how much importance is placed on seniority. In Italy, it’s rude to leave the table until everyone has eaten, drunk their coffee and my personal favourite, limoncello. Each meal is a social event and a chance to bring the family – the core of Italian society – together.
In Panama City, Panama, Isaac Villaverde, founder of the Afro-Panamanian cultural movement La Tapa Del Coco, is organizing tours that give tourists the opportunity to tap into the local culture, history, and customs through food. Cultural diversity is one Panama’s most interesting features and La Tapa Del Coco offers a great way to begin to understand its complexity, but also its beauty, whilst sampling the best its cuisine has to offer.
“One of the biggest challenges is to keep Afro-Panamanian traditions alive, even though Panama is influenced by many foreign cultures and forms of expression. Our purpose is to give young generations the chance to understand their roots and their heritage.” Isaac says. “We also want visitors to find out more about our culture through food. Our tours aren’t just about great food, they’re about celebration and thankfulness towards our ancestors who fought and endured centuries of slavery. Their struggle is a strong component of our culture, and the expression of such is key in the development of our society.”
The essence of La Tapa del Coco’s culinary tours are the pride and passion Isaac feels towards his people and culture. You’ll be temporarily transported to food heaven on a magic carpet of spices and hearty flavours, but the power of this experience shines through the stories and realities of the people you’ll meet and hear of through Isaac, which is something you’ll take with you, forever.
This, my friends, is what I like to call food for the soul.