Ask Panamanians what they like to eat when they are celebrating and eight tenths of them will respond, “any food sold by a street vendor.” In the same one-block distance, Panamanians like to have anywhere from 2-20 street vendors selling the holy street vendor trinity: chorizo on a stick, beef flap on yucca, and brochettas.
The prices for these treats are the same across the city. The equipment is all identical. Yet the vendors themselves always seem to make money. As if they don’t get enough of the trinity at special events, it is 91% statistically proven that all three items are served at all Panamanian backyard gatherings.
But when it comes down to it, Panamanians like special occasion street vendors so much that they have an entire department at the health ministry dedicated to them. Which is to say, don’t think just anyone can throw up a griddle and start selling palitos. No, you must get certified first. You know, in order to make sure you abide by the correct menu and pricing scheme.
One of the best chances to indulge in special occasion street vendors for the foreigner is Carnaval. This is the absolute Mecca of street vending.