Panama is just 50km wide at its leanest point, an impressive statistic given that it separates two great oceans. Panama’s varied geography, vibrant cultural diversity, and extensive political history, make it a one-stop wonderland for travelers both old and young. In the heat of the tropics, many vegetables don’t grow well, so yucca and plaintains take the place of leafy greens in most dishes. On the contrary, fruits are plentiful in Panama as the climate encourages a healthy variety of fruit trees and plants. Papayas, mangos, passion fruit, soursop (a custard apple) and mammón (a cousin to the lychee) are among the many items you’ll see at markets.It’s a hot day in Boston, and a Mango-Banana Smoothie sounds perfect! See below for a recipe that will make you feel like you’re in tropical Panama without the plane ticket:Mango-Banana Smoothie*makes 2 servings*Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups peeled, ripe mango chunks
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ½ banana, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice


  1. Freeze mango chunks 1 — 1 ½ hours, or until firm.
  2. Just before serving, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of For more on Panama and other Latin and South American cuisines, visit Sarita’s Sensations (created by the Latino Nutrition Coalition)

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