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Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 12:55 PM UTC

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The Cost Of Putting On A Traditional Christmas Dinner in Panama

Food & DrinkHousewives are getting ready to prepare the traditional Christmas dinner. In search of the best prices channel 2 TVN News AM visited several supermarkets where, according to the Authority for Consumer Protection and Competition (Acodeco), the best prices are offered for basic family food necessities.

In these shops we found Christmas hams starting at $17.00, turkeys from $16.00, rice from $2.09 for five pounds and the popular "guandú" at $3.95.

A food that cannot be missing from the Christmas table is the traditional "rosca" of egg bread that is available at an affordable price, as well as the popular apples and grapes, all within reach of the budget.

In total you can expect to spend about 80 dollars on the purchase of the basic ingredients of Christmas dinner, for about 4 people. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: During the evening news broadcast yesterday TVN ran down the results of their price survey for the "basic family food basket" and found big differences in prices for the exact same goods, depending on where you shop. The cheapest prices are at the Xtra supermarkets nearest to the poorest neighborhoods, while (not surprisingly) the highest prices are at the Riba Smith and Super99 supermarkets closest to the most exclusive neighborhoods of Panama City.

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ACODECO Investigation Determines Egg Producers Are Not Meeting Technical Specifications

Food & Drink The Authority for Consumer Protection and the Defense of Competition (ACODECO) conducted an investigation to determine whether chicken eggs being sold in the country comply with the required technical specifications.

The group of technicians from the ACODECO wanted to determine if the eggs being sold as jumbo, large, medium, and small met the technical specifications.

The investigation was conducted in 118 supermarkets and packaging plants, where they checked a total of 33,202 dozens of eggs, of which 7,492 (22.09%) were rejected.

According to ACODECO, the majority of the eggs checked were measured to see if they were either large or medium sized.

According to the investigation, the two companies producing jumbo eggs, Melo failed 28.57% while Toledano failed 58.82%.

Of the 10 companies selling large fresh eggs, the companies with the highest rates of compliance were: De Patio (92%), Melo (78.12%); Toledano (75.61%), Del Dia (73.68%); Edanjo (40% ); and Granja Teresa (14.29%).

Four producers (Finca Bremer, Caribeño, Athenas and Avícola Chong) scored 0% compliance.

As for medium eggs, of the nine companies producing, only two (Del Dia and Edanjo) complied 100% with the technical regulation.

They were followed by by Melo (95.65%); Toledano (69.09%), Caribeño (57.14%); Guayacanes (38.46%).

The companies Granja Teresa, Bremer and Rodeo had 0% compliance. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: The way they are talking about this is somewhat confusing. For example, they measured eggs being sold by the Toledano company as medium sized eggs. In their investigation they determined that in fact only 69% of those eggs were actually medium sized according to the technical specifications, while 31% were not (because they were smaller.) In doing this report, some poor bastard had to measure 398,424 eggs. Why so many? Did anyone ask ACODECO what they did with all those eggs after they measured them? (urp) Que huevo...

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Renowned Chef Ruben Dario Ortega Vieto - Now At The Veneto

Food & DrinkGood news for Foodies and Gourmands in El Cangrego. Ruben Dario Ortega Vieto, of recent Luna fame, has made his way over to El Cangrejo and signed on as the Executive Chef of the Veneto, Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino. Looks like this Panamanian UberChef is going to make another impact on the dining scene in Panama City, bring gourmet to this landmark hotel. Imagine banquet events without rubber chicken and groaning buffets .. gourmet holiday parties, weddings and more.

His pedigree includes of course Luna, but also stints at La Posta and at various posh eateries in Washington DC where he honed his culinary talents at the likes of the Bistro Bis, The Elbow Room Restaurant, Ritz Carlton and Ardeo. Chef Ruben pursued his career in culinary arts after giving up on the hustle bustle of the finance world. Fresh local ingredients, meticulously selected fresh produce (4 am trips to the market) , creative spices and vibrant atmosphere combine to bring wow his guests in not only the New York Steakhouse, but in every other venue of the Veneto’s diverse collection, including banquets.

As this article is released, Chef Ruben is further expanding his horizons at A Wyndham Chef’s training event at the famed Escula Internacional de Cuisine at Valladolid, Spain. He promises to return from Spain in early November with even more delicacies added to his already impressive armory.

If you are lucky enough to land an invitation to the limited engagement, invitation only “Power Lunch” at the famed New York Steak House, you will find an engaging personality presenting unique and delicious bites. Follow Chef Ruben at @rubenortegaviet

New York Steakhouse is located in the Veneto, Wyndham Grand Hotel, on Via Veneto Free valet parking.

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Sunday Brunch at Casa Ramirez in Panama City

Food & DrinkCasa Ramirez is proud to announce 4 course Sunday Brunches presented by SophiaLaurel Catering. Casa Rameriz is located in Coco del Mar, just minutes away from the heart of Panama City. A restored private residence, Casa Ramirez's warm and inviting atmosphere provides the perfect local for Sunday morning brunch. Come and enjoy a 4 course brunch including mimosas, coffee and tea in the privacy of the Casa Ramirez gardens. Breathtaking views of the city skyline combined with the tranquility of the gardens make for a memorable dining experience.

One can expect to find anything from hand made charcuterie and hand crafted cheeses to light and silky mousses and poached eggs perched delicately atop a hearty hash on the ever changing and rotating menu. Chef Sophia Boesenberg strives to use locally grown and sourced products while showcasing the many wonderful local rarities Panama has to offer.

Sunday Brunch Menu for October 28th, 2012 - House Made Charcuterie and Cheese Board with Fresh Made Bread, Crackers and Pickles, Duck Confit Hash with Poached Eggs, Roasted Carrot Salad with Candied Pecans and Blueberry Vinaigrette, Toasted Chai Torte with Spiced Chocolate Buttercream

You must have a reservation to attend and you can make reservations via email by contacting Sophia Boesenberg at sophia.boesenberg@gmail.com.

Map to Casa Ramirez at CasaRamirezPanama.com/Map

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ACODECO Seizes Expired Products In Bocas del Toro Stores

Food & DrinkDairy products for children and adults with expired dates, were seized on Friday by inspectors from the Authority for Consumer Protection and Competition (ACODECO) in the province of Bocas del Toro. Despite the distribution of leaflets with information to both consumers and merchants, some of the latter continue to insist on trying to sell expired products, to the point that there are recidivists (repeat offenders). Therefore, the authorities will impose the appropriate penalties. However, the authorities reported that overall the number of retailers who are selling expired products in the region has fallen sharply. The most commonly seized products are rice, both powdered and liquid milk, cereals, liqueurs, beans and sweets. (TVN)

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Care For A Little Protein With Your Rice? Grubs, Worms, Weevils...

Food & DrinkThe Authority for Consumer Protection and Competition (acodec) confiscation about 288 pounds of rice containing worms, weevils and moths in the province of Chiriqui. According to Alexis Ortega, the Regional Administrator for Acodeco, the seizure was made ​​Monday in a small market located in the neighborhood of Alto Verde in David. In the small market, owned by Chinese, had bags of rice that had not passed their expiration date, Ortega said, but were full of moths, worms and grubs, which represents a danger to consumers. Acodeco officials drew up a certificate detailing the quantity seized. Subsequently they will determine the amount of the fine, which can be between $100 and $25,000 dollars, for violating consumer protection rules. (Siglo)
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Is There Any Place To Get Good, Fresh Raw Oysters in Panama City?

Food & Drink By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received this afternoon via email: "Hey Don. I'm new here, love your site. I have been to Panama quite a few times in the last 2 years, but I can't find an answer to my question. I've searched your site and googled (try googling Panama City, HUH! always Panama City Beach. ufff) Anyway, my question is - Are oysters available in Panama City? I noticed in an article of yours about a seafood market, I'll look there next time I come (July 6). Thanks for any help."

Editor's Comment: Great question. I love oysters myself, but to be honest with you I can't remember the last time I had them here in Panama. Can anyone recommend someplace with good, fresh raw oysters? Please answer in the comments section below.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Pollo Tropical Opens First New Restaurant in Panama

Food & Drink Pollo Tropical announced today that the first of five new restaurants planned with franchisee El Machetazo in Panama, has opened. This new restaurant is located in the popular Albrook Mall in Panama City, Panama's largest shopping center. El Machetazo, a family-owned company founded more than 40 years ago by the late Juan Ramon Poll Cabrera, is considered one of the most important retail companies in Panama today. Among its holdings are 12 hypermarkets of the same name that operate throughout Panama and employ more than 3,000. The company also owns and operates 12 Cafe Caney coffee/pastry shops located inside the markets.

"Panama is an established banking, shipping and tourism-based economy that has seen phenomenal growth in recent years. It also shares strong cultural and business connections with Pollo Tropical's hometown of Miami," said Marc Mushkin, Senior Vice President of International Development for Pollo Tropical. "We are proud to be represented by the Machetazo Group in Panama because of both their strength as a nationwide retailer with extensive landholdings and established infrastructure."

The new Pollo Tropical is located immediately outside the "Elefante" entrance of the Mall, adjacent to other popular restaurants. It seats 60 guests and serves the brand's famous flame-grilled marinated chicken, roast pork, guava barbecue ribs and made-from-scratch side dishes. Other menu favorites include Pollo Tropical's TropiChop - a bowl of grilled chicken breast, pork or vegetables served atop a bed of white or yellow rice and topped with a choice of freshly made salsas. The menu also includes a wide array of other offerings such as Caesar salad, Caribbean chicken soup, wraps, sandwiches and a variety of Latin-inspired desserts and beverages.

El Machetazo has two additional free-standing Pollo Tropical units currently under construction in the Panama City area. The first will open at the Versalles development and the second will be located at the Brisas del Golf Shopping Center, located in Panama City's trendy east side. Additionally, El Machetazo has an in-line Pollo Tropical model in development in the famous Panama City Multi-Plaza shopping center.

ABOUT POLLO TROPICAL - Pollo Tropical owns and operates nearly 90 locations in the United States (Florida and Georgia), has more than 30 international franchised locations in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Costa Rica and has agreements in place for additional franchise restaurants in Guatemala, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Pollo Tropical also has three licensed units located on college campuses in Florida.

The first Pollo Tropical restaurant opened in 1988 in Miami, Florida. The unique restaurant concept is known for its fresh, never frozen, open flame grilled chicken, marinated in a proprietary blend of tropical fruit juices and spices, as well as authentic "made from scratch" side dishes. For more information on Pollo Tropical, including menu items and nutritional information as well as information about international franchising, visit online at www.pollotropical.com .

Pollo Tropical is part of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. FRGI -1.92% , which also owns the Taco Cabana restaurant chain. Taco Cabana operates over 150 restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and offers a wide selection of fresh traditional Mexican food. Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., is a public company trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "FRGI". Additional information on Fiesta can be found at www.frgi.com. (Press Release)

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Panama Imports 300,000 Quintals of Rice From The United States

Food & Drink300,000 quintals of imported rice arrived on Panamanian soil and will be unloaded this week from the ship Harapag Hooper, from Louisiana, USA. The most important grain for the Panamanian table was acquired by the Institute for Agricultural Marketing to supply the Solidarity Food program, through the Jumbo Fairs the institution has conducted nationwide.

Mr. Oscar McKay, deputy director of the IMA, who was present at the landing, said "the measure of this load of imported rice is due to the consumption by Panamanians, the domestic production is greater than what is normally recorded annually in the country."

Therefore the IMA, as guarantor of the preservation of the rice market, continues to buy rice to meet its responsibility to the Panamanian people to bring products to the basic food basket at lower cost. It is noteworthy that the first imported contingent of this type was held in January 2012, which landed 150,000 quintals of rice, or only half of the current demand. With this new batch of rice it is estimated that with consumption based on free markets, it will last about four months.

The newly imported rice is destined for mills in Chiriqui, Veraguas, Cocle and Panama City, where it will be shelled and packaged before being distributed in the IMA Jumbo Stores and Jumbo Fairs, and for marketing. (Dia a Dia)

Editor's Comment: There is a greater demand for rice in Panama, and the demand outpaces local production capability. Even though rice growers in Panama are setting new records for production every year, there is still a need to import rice from the United States in order to meet local demand.

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Farmers Don't Control Rising Prices For Meat and Milk

Food & Drink
A Butcher In Panama Meat Market
A Butcher In Panama Meat Market
In the coming days, meat and milk will increase in price, but it is the intermediaries who will establish prices and not the producers. This was made ​​clear by José Pablo Solis, the President of the Cattlemen's Association (Anagan), during an interview on the channel 13 Telemetro Morning Report. Solis stressed the need for producers to receive more money to pay for rising labor, fuel, energy and other expenses, but he made it clear that they have nothing to do with the prices charged to the consumers. The producer said that in Panama meat has the lowest price in all Central America; in Nicaragua the price is $1.45 while in Panama it's $1.22 to $1.24. (Telemetro)
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