Old Corn Bollos

Old corn Bollos are a traditional food here in Panama. They are made with maize (hard corn). In most Panamanian families they usually are eaten at breakfast; however they are also really good on the side with sausages and other meats and a tomato sauce to dip in. You will find them served in many local restaurants and fondas. Most Panamanian families have their own recipes for making bollos. The recipe here is belongs to my Mother’s family. Everybody loves the bollos she makes.    

- 5 pounds of maize corn
- Approximately 3 gallons of water
- ¾ pound of butter
- Salt to taste
- Sugar cane leaves (to wrap the bollos in)
- Thread to tie the bollos with


While bollos can be prepared in the kitchen, my mother cooks the bollos in an open outdoor firepot, because it is faster.

The maize is totally covered with water and placed in a heavy steel pot. Cook the maize until the kernels are soft but still hold their shape.  Then, remove from the heat and grind the maize, with a meat grinder. Save the liquid produced from the grinding the corn, to make Corn Milk. (See recipe below).

Add butter and salt to the ground up maize and knead until the dough is smooth enough to form balls.

Make balls out of the dough, and roll them into cylindrical shapes. Wrap the corn cylinders with sugar cane leaves and tie them with the thread.

Place the wrapped bollos back in boiling water for 25 minutes before removing from heat. Bollos can be eaten hot or cold.

Corn Milk – A by product of making bollos.

A yellow liquid is produced when the corn is ground. Add milk (we use evaporated milk), sugar to taste and a drop of vanilla. Refrigerate and serve very cold.