After visiting Isla Palenque last weekend, Frances, Laura, Aris and I drove from the small fishing village of Boca Chica to David. Along the way we passed the most beautiful rolling hills that delivered some of the most gorgeous, picture perfect views of Chiriqui. Around every twist and turn my heart melted with pure admiration for the beauty that surrounded me. Nature does not disappoint!
Along the way we stumbled upon a fresh fruit stand on the side of the road and decided this was a perfect place to stop and refuel our growling stomachs. I was amazed to find an abundance of guava, watermelon, pineapples, cantaloupe, plantains, and raspadura. Raspadura is a dome shaped clump of unrefined pure cane sugar used in many Panamanian desserts, candies and drinks. It is used with limes, oranges or lemons to make a refreshing beverage. High in calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron, raspadura contains all the vitamins and minerals of the sugar cane but in a concentrated way. It is a nutritionally rich natural sweetener with a wonderful nutty taste.
Here is a great recipe to make Panamanian Lemonade.
What you’ll need:
5 cups of water
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cake of raspadura (about ½ cup)
Step 1: On the stove heat one cup of water until boiling. Meanwhile cut the raspadura cake into small pieces. Remove the water from the heat and mix in the raspadura until dissolved. Substitute dark brown can sugar or molasses if you can’t get a hold of raspadura.
Step 2: Pour the syrup into your pitcher. Let it cool.
Step 3: Cut up your lemons and juice them into a bowl. Pick out all the seeds.
Step 4: Add the remaining water and lemon juice to the raspadura and mix.
Step 5: Serve chilled.