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The tastes of Christmas at local stores
It is the season for parties – and every successful party starts with a successful shopping trip. It is important to know where to shop. The Visitor has five recommendations for finding the best options in food, delicacies and drinks.
Felipe Motta Wine Store: has over a thousand options. Store attendants are knowledgeable and clients can taste selected options chosen by the store each week. Great deals include three bottles of Argentinian Malbec wine from Finca La Linda for $27 or two bottles of White Zinfandel from Beringer for $14.50. Champagne for toasting comes in all prices from $197 for a bottle of 2003 Dom Pérignon to $13.75 for a bottle of Codorníu Brut or Rosé.
The store also carries options of whisky, rum, vodka, gin, tequila, cognacs, brandies, beer and specialty liquors. Christmas baskets are available with different liquor options, as well as deli products ranging in prices from $39 to $825. Be sure to look for the limited edition and Christmas specials.
Felipe Motta has seven locations in Panama City, one in Coronado and one in David, Chiriqui. For more information visit www.felipemotta.com.
Riba Smith: known as Panama’s premium supermarket offers everything for the perfect holiday dinner. Specialty ingredients include a huge selection of organic and imported products.
The supermarket also has its own line of ready-to-go food including tamales (corn patties with chicken and spices), breads, jams, ice cream, pastas, and pies, including fruit cake and pecan pie. They also offer Christmas baskets for gifts.
Riba Smith has five locations, Bella Vista, Transístmica, Costa del Este, Multiplaza and Coronado. www.ribasmith.com allows online shopping.
Bon Vivant: is a Spanish Mediterranean deli and restaurant, where you can find specialty products such as French artisan nougat from Yann Duytsche. There is a whole range of collection of sweet sauces, jams, jellies and super creative chutneys for pairings with foie gras and cheese. Cheese lovers will be in heaven at this deli with the biggest selection of cheese in Panama. Products can be paired by themes to create unusual gift baskets.
Choose from a large selection of wine and beer or participate in the Bon Vivant Gin & Tonic Club where you will learn sophisticated cocktail recipes with botanical essences to surprise people with unique cocktails. Expats will enjoy a taste of home with their Christmas menu options to-go from different countries around the world.
Bon Vivant is located on Calle 74, San Francisco (coming from Via Porras make a right before Casa de las Baterias.) Open from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sundays until 10:00 p.m. For more information.www.facebook.com/bonvivantpanama
Organica: those who want to eat healthy and flavorful should visit Organica. This store only sells organic products, everything from produce, drinks, frozen section, to makeup and cleaning supplies.
For holiday dinners the stores carry young vegetarian-fed turkey, free of hormones and antibiotics, as well as turkey sauces such as gravy, and cranberries. Goat cheese made in Panama or vegan dips, can be accompanied with artisan crackers made in Boquete. Christmas cookies made by Organica are free of gluten, with no artificial coloring and include homemade granola, sun-dried biscuits, and gingerbread. Options of organic beer and wine are available.
Organica has four locations, San Francisco and Paitilla in Panama City, Boquete and Coronado. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Fridays and till 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Sunday hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info visit www.facebook.com/OrganicaStore.pa.
Pretelt Meats Gourmet: has been importing meat to Panama since 1995 offering the biggest selection of meat cuts, from dry options to baby back rib or brisket.
Exotic meats such as buffalo steak, king crab, halibut, foei gras, lamb, goose, duck, quail, or Maine lobster are available. Pick between different styles of chorizos from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Italy or sausages made of lamb, buffalo, venison or duck. Kobe, the Japanese delicacy known for its flavor and tenderness is sold here, as are hamburger patties, skirt steak, New York or rib eye.
Pretelt Meats Gourmet has three locations, on Calle 50, Costa del Este and Colon. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and until 7:00 p.m.on Thursday and Fridays. Sunday hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information and prices visit www.pretelt-meats.com.