Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo
I love learning new things about buildings and history in Casco Viejo. The other day visiting the Tamarind Room at the Presidential Palace, I had the opportunity to see the beautiful paintings by Roberto Lewis, and a whole series of portraits at the adyacent “Yellow Room” of the first “governors” of Panama, previous to the Republic (starting 1874, Panama became the Republic of Panama 1903).
I find it fun and fitting that Roberto chose the humble tamarind to be the center of his painting to depict the tropical life of rural Panama. He was so right. Even though today it is probably the last tree that would come to your mind when thinking about Panama or even the tropics, when I was little there was nothing like tamarind pulp rolled up with sugar. Small and powerful fruit, you don´t need much to get the full scope of benefits. Always surprised how Indian cuisine loves it for sauces, while in Panama we preferred it straight out sweet. The whole scene depicts the picking of the fruit, and it is used as the official dinning room. The Yellow Room has scenes of the Spanish conquest and it is used more for formal ceremonies.
A tree at the heart of our democracy! Fantastic.