Each day, several thousand tons of Panela are consumed throughout Colombia. And even if this kind of food seems more like a piece of rock or a mineral, it is the undisputed and favorite sweetener of all Colombians, regardless of the region, race, accent or economic condition.
Produced from the evaporation, concentration and crystallization of sugar cane juice, panela is so rooted in the country’s gastronomic tradition that it has become a hallmark of Colombian culture, a symbol of the mestizo and rural past from which all its inhabitants come.
It is consumed at breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can drink it hot or cold. It is used to sweeten beverages, desserts or sauces. Grandmothers attribute healing powers to it, such as cold relieving medicine. Sportsmen and day laborers consume it to recover lost electrolytes and energy.
It is possible to find Panela in as many different and varied presentations as it has uses: in round or square blocks, pulverized, in small cubes or asymmetric morsels.
For any foreign palate, Panela is a safe bet, that pleasantly surprises for its simplicity, for its honest flavor and warming essence. Its unrefined soul and artisanal production process (in most cases), through which an ancestral knowledge is preserved, allows those who visit Colombia and taste it, to get in touch with the exotic and varied nature of the country.
If you are the type of traveler who likes to discover a new destination using your sense of taste, you will eventually cross paths with the Panela during your trip to Colombia.
If you want to know more about Panela production process and rituals, we invite you to participate in our Cisneros Tour, a rural adventure through paths full of history and tradition!