I know. Normally it’s we eat a lot of ice cream, but with the temperatures in Panama City, Panama, well into the 90s, we craved refreshing over creamy. Thankfully, Panama did not disappoint.
We had raspados in Belize, and raspado like treats at Disney World, but they were not the same as the ones we remembered from our trip to Panama City ten years ago. Perhaps it’s the ice shaved right in front of you, perhaps the juices are fresher, or maybe it’s just our blatant nostalgia, but at least to us, the raspados (shaved ice with fruit juice and condensed milk drizzled on top) in Panama City, Panama, are the best.
You can’t walk a block in Casco Viejo, Panama City, without tripping over a raspado cart. They are EVERYWHERE. I would wager that it was less than twenty minutes from the time we checked into our accommodation to the time we had an icy treat in our hands.
There is an art to the making of the raspado that is like watching a fascinating ballet.
On the first day I got passion fruit and Shannon got grape. Just to make sure they were as good as we remembered, we both got a fruit punch flavored raspado the next day.
As rolled ice cream has become a trend in our home city, I hope that perhaps someday raspado will catch on.
When I read that Granclement was hailed as the best gelato in Central America, well that was a claim I had to taste for myself.
The shop has a funky- elegant design. It blends the old historic charm with artsy modern.
There were a lot of interesting flavors, and had we had more time, we would have gone back to try a few more.
I ended up settling on lavender, and because the people ahead of me sampled it and then raved, the raspberry.
Shannon got a scoop of the Madagascar vanilla and the orange chocolate.
The gelato was nice and creamy, but what I loved the most was that the flavors really popped. They were so vibrant. There was no mistaking what flavor you were eating.
If you are visiting Casco Viejo, Panama City, you have to stop by for a scoop at Granclement.
Paleteria La Michoacana
Located around the corner from where we were staying, we passed by Paleteria La Michoacana several times during our first day in Casco Viejo.
By our second day, we were lured in by what promised to be refreshing fruitiness. The promise delivered. Our Pineapple and Lime with mint Popsicles were a chilly oasis in the heat of the day.
They were delightful. So delightful, that we gave in and went back for a second Popsicle only a few hours after our first (Tamarind for Shannon and Strawberry-Mango for me).
Minutes after being handed our second round, the shop really got jumping, and the line remained out of the door for the rest of that day/night.
I later learned that Paleteria La Michoacana is a chain that originated in Mexico. It has already seeped its yumminess into a few areas in the U.S..
Brownie Sundaes on the Panama Canal
This will certainly remain one the most memorable places that we have ever consumed ice cream.
For our first dessert, Uncruise’s Safari Voyager treated us to an on deck brownie ice cream sundae bar.
We were able to fix our sundaes and consume them without missing a second of cruising through the Panama Canal.