One festival stall gave this dish the name picadillo, but that familiar ground beef has never been so chunky. Panamanians know it better as bofe (Bo-fay), or beef lung, which has an iron-rich flavor accentuated by simmering with onions and spices. Typically bofe is eaten with a frybread called an hojaldre (oh-Hahl-dray), whose name derives from the Spanish "hoja" — that is, it's a "leaf" you tear into pieces and use to pick up your food. This fried-to-order hojaldre was especially dense and provided many sturdy, bite-sized "utensils."
A handful of food vendors did business along the parade route; one served cupfuls of chicheme, a creamy, cinnamon-flavored beverage plentiful with kernels of corn. Most vendors, however, were set up on the festival site, a short walk away. In addition to bofe and chicheme, the most readily available fare included assorted frituras (the batch below gives a clearer look at an hojaldre); souse, a vinegary jumble of cucumber with pieces of cow foot (or pig foot, if you prefer); and (not shown) corn and skewered meats from the grill.
Panamanian Pre-Independence Day Parade and Festival
Parade, on Franklin Ave. from Bergen St. to Eastern Pkwy.; festival, on Classon Ave. between Eastern Pkwy. and President St., Crown Heights, Brooklyn
(The 2013 parade and festival were held on October 12)