Mondongada – A Panamanian Tradition
In Panama, when the roof of a house goes up it is tradition for the homeowner to host a party for the workers. The party, called a Mondongada, gets its name from the main dish served at the event – mondongo, or in English, tripe stew. A Panamanian tripe stew typically contains beef tripe (stomach lining), chorizo, carrots and potatoes. The stew is served to the workers, along with friends and family of the host. The homeowner is expected to join in and enjoy the meal along with the workers, however it’s typical for them to provide other goodies like roasted chicken rice, salads and of course beer!
It is said that construction workers will raise a red flag indicating they’ve completed the roof and will not continue their work until the Mondongada happens - So generally the party happens with little notice.
Mondongo is an important food in Panamanian culture, and when prepared by an expert its actually pretty good! If you’re looking for a taste of typical Panamanian food – this is it - stop by your Rincon del Chef restaurant and talk to Chef Fernando, who is known to make the best mondongo in town.