Chicha de Arroz con Piña

My neighbor Haydeé came over yesterday, and we had cooking class in my kitchen. What fun! She is Panamanian so of course she knows how to cook all kinds of Panamanian food, and I’m interested in learning.

We made a drink called chicha de arroz con piña – drink of rice with pineapple. (Chicha seems to cover a lot of drinks, usually with fruit, and occasionally fermented. I’m getting the feeling my neighbor makes chicha out of any kind of fruit she has on hand)

When you peel a pineapple, take all the peelings and the core, and put it in water, enough to cover it. Add some rice (maybe 1/4 – 1/2 cup). Boil this for 30-60 minutes. It’s interesting to see her cooking is not an exact science either, but rather “some” of this, “more” of that, and “a little” of something else.

So anyway, you end up with this very aromatic pineapple water that smells wonderful. Let it cool and remove the pineapple peels. This is the base for your drink.

This is some I have leftover in the fridge, ready to make more chicha.

This is some I have leftover in the fridge, ready to make more chicha.

Put some ice in the blender, some of the drink base, some sugar to taste, some milk, and a splash of vanilla. Blend it until smooth, put in a glass and enjoy.

Joel thought it tasted like ice cream and he’s right. It’s smooth, creamy, cool, and tastes surprisingly rich for only having some rice and milk in it. And, what a good thing to do with your pineapple peels that you would otherwise throw away.

I have a couple more things that she taught me, and there will probably be others in the future too so I’ll share what I learn here.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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7 Responses to Chicha de Arroz con Piña

  1. Amba says:

    A lot of people go to new places and return without absorbing any of the local culture. It’s nice to see you making an effort to learn more about the place and their cuisine. This drink sounds heavenly by the way 🙂


  2. Roger says:

    When my wife make this chicha at home it only last a couple of minutes in the fridge. My boys drank all of it in just minutes. It is a nice and refreshing drink.

    Another thing. Have you ever heard or tasted a “DURO”. It is a frozen drink good to have in this dry season, especially on hot days. You can place in your freezer some chicha de arroz con piña in wax paper or foam glasses and let it freeze. When it hard you can have it and eat it.


  3. Pingback: Arroz con Leche | To Cook With Love

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