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World Food Day & Indigenous Attempt to Set World Record Patacón

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.


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Panamanian indigenous group targets Guinness Book of Records


Posted 31/07/2019

Indigenous Panamanians of the Emberá ethnic group are seeking to break the Guinness Record for the largest patacon in the world, to draw attention to the need to maintain ancestral cultures, organizers announced Wednesday.

The challenge will take place on October 16, World Food Day, when more than a hundred indigenous people intend to cook a 100 kilos patacón in the Ipetí Emberá community, 50 kilometers east of Panama City.

To prepare the gigantic patacón, which consists of a fried flat piece of green banana, 850 bananas from the indigenous community, 1,500 liters of oil and a 3.5-meter diameter pot will be used. The patacón will be 3 meters in diameter and 2 inches thick,  (5.1 centimeters).

"Our customs are being impacted by modernity and capital life," said Sara Omi, of the Emberá General Congress of Alto Bayano.

"That  making the world's largest patacón in our community is an opportunity to show everyone the need to preserve the country's native culture" and show "who we are, how we live and how we share," Omi said

The preparation of the dish will be directed by Panamanian chef Rachel Pol Policart.

"We want to put our country on the map with a record and promote Panamanian cuisine," Pol said.

Banana is one of the main ingredients of the Emberá cuisine, which is eaten parboiled, roasted, mashed, sliced or as patacón.

"We sow banana every year for our local consumption. Only five percent of what we produce is dedicated to sales," said Omi.

The Emberá are an indigenous ethnic group from Panama and Colombia.



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Panama makes Guinness records book with giant patacon


Posted 16/10/2019

Panama ataggered into the Guinness book of records on Wednesday, October 16,  with the world’s largest patacón prepared and baked in the community of Ipetí Emberá.

The huge patacón had a weighed  111.4 kilograms, (245.8 pounds) and measured 3.4 meters in diameter It contained over 1,200 bananas and 1,250 liters of oil, prepared and mixed by 14o helpers directed by two renowned chefs, Panamanian chefs  Rachel Pol Policart and Oriana Bekerman.

It was seved with a banana sauce by Panama TOP Chef 2018. Alonso Garcia.

A  Guinness records judge judge delivered the certification and stressed that all parameters were met.



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Click Here to see the Telemetro news article (in Spanish), which includes a short video with lots of interesting shots during this event.



Courtesy of Carmela Gobern of Panama Cyberspace News.

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An Indigenous Group In Panama Holds The Guinness Record For World’s Largest Patacón

BY danielli | November 13, 2019 AT 2:25 pm


After a coordinated six-month effort, Panama’s Emberá de Ipetí indigenous community broke the Guinness World Record for the largest patacón in the world. How many plátanos does it take to make the worlds largest was that patacón, you ask? Weighing at 245 pounds and measuring over 11 feet in diameter, the World’s Largest Patacón required 1,200 plátanos and 330 gallons of frying oil. The long-anticipated event drew in a sold-out crowd of 700 celebrators who took part in Emberá traditions, dance, and plenty of comida.

“We no longer want to be this statistic of vulnerability,” Emberá de Ipetí’s community leader, Sara Omi, told CNN. “We are rich in knowledge and that’s what we’re demonstrating here today.”

As visitors arrived for “Patacón Day,” they were invited to participate in a hand-washing ritual.

Credit: ELPATACONPTY / Instagram

At the entrance of the events, guests could participate in this Emberá ritual that uses plants to cleanse “malas vibras,” or bad vibes. “The plants we use to wash our hands has a lot to do with our worldview,” Sara Omi said. “For example, if you arrive at your home and bring bad malas vibras, washing your hands will take away those malas vibras. You become more open for everything that comes.” Then, the guests could go ahead and dance and eat with everyone else.

Over 100 volunteers worked to make individual tostones that were spread across an enormous steel mold.


It takes a lot of labor to peel, chop, fry, grind, knead and finally assemble 1,200 plátanos. Volunteers would fry individual plátanos in this enormous, 330-gallon vat of oil, and bring it to the steel mold for others to assemble. Then, the crowd gathered around to watch the tense moment that volunteers carefully carried 245 pounds of plátanos back to this vat of oil. Then, it was dropped into the oil for its final fry, and lifted out of the vat to become the world’s largest patacón. This wasn’t their first rodeo either. It took six months for the 134 Emberá de Ipetí indigenous volunteers to practice and perfect the enormous feat. 

According to Carlos Tapia, the official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records, there were three requirements to ensure the attempt would be a success. 


The first was that the patacón remained an intact, single patacón. It could not break once it was removed from the oil. Secondly, there had to be several professionals present. A metrologist could certify that the final weight was at least 220 pounds to break the previous record. There also had to be a cultural expert present to ensure the patacón was true to its roots. A health and hygiene inspector was also present to ensure that the food was prepared in such a way that it didn’t violate any health codes. 

The final requirement to break the record was to make sure none of the food goes to waste.


We love that, Guinness World Records. That means the pressure isn’t off once the patacón is flawlessly assembled and beats the previous weight record. Then, came the universal tradition: eat as much food as you possibly can, and then have seconds. With a sold-out crowd of folks there to witness history, it goes without saying that the Emberá de Ipetí pulled off the feat. Maybe it was because the record was broken on the auspicious Oct. 14, or World Food Day. While folks were feasting, they could also support the women artisans selling their crafts, entirely inspired and created from the nature surrounding them.

The Patacón has become a symbol of unity and the greatness of indigenous peoples and of Panama.


“I would like to tell everyone who is here, my perfect Patacón staff, those who have been part of a little piece of patacón and all the people who joined this dream, never forget that, together, we can achieve what we set out to do,” Patacón director, Sabrina Naimark, told the crowd. “We managed to unite as a country, make the Emberá de Ipetí Indigenous community visible, and achieve the Guinness World Record Holder Record so that the world knows how big Panama is and what we are able to do when we put soul, passion, and dedication to an idea. That idea became a reality, creating a true social impact in Panama and the world.”



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