One of my favorite activities while living in Panama is cooking fusion cuisine with the fresh, local produce from Panama’s beautiful countryside. Panama has some of the most delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs I’ve ever tasted including tomatoes, basil, papaya, pineapple, bok choy, mangos, and more.
Currently, to shop at the produce market, you have to venture into the village of Curundu, a not so tourist friendly area of Panama City. The good news is that in October 2013, the produce market will be moved to the old Antenna Field in Chivo Chivo and will have a brand new structure. The bad news is…the produce market will be moved to the old Antenna Field in Chivo Chivo. Why good AND bad? Well, the new location is in an undeveloped area north of the city which has plenty of room for a new sprawling market. According to the Secretariat of the Cold Chain, which is heading this project, the project will be called “Merca Panama” and will cost $124 million dollars. The facilities will be brand new with high standards, unlike what currently exists in Curundu. The downside, in my opinion is that no longer is the trip to the produce market going to be a 5 minute drive. Coming October 2013, you will have to travel at lease 15km’s in your car each way if you live in downtown Panama City.
Although your trip to the produce market might take up a little more time out of your day, in the future you will be able to shop for your tomatoes at 60 cents a pound in nicer facilities and have an allover more enjoyable experience.
We’re interested in what your favorite produce in Panama is? Where have you found it the freshest, and for how much per pound did it cost?