Rondón (food)

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A plate of Rondón
Preparation of Rondón at San Andrés

Rondón also known as Run down, is a traditional Jamaican dish that is eaten in several Latin American countries that share a coast with the Caribbean Sea. The dish was originally brought by Afro-Jamaican immigrant workers who were employed to build the Panama Canal and Costa Rican railroads.[1] [2] In Jamaica, it is commonly eaten for breakfast. It consists of a soup made up of different types of seafood (fish, crabs, small lobsters or shellfish), with coconut milk, plantain, vegetables, peppers and spices. It is a traditional dish in the Antilles, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Venezuela.


Rondón originated in Jamaica and was exported to Latin America by the immigrant workers who migrated in the early 19th century to build projects such as the Panama Canal and the Costa Rican railroads. The dish is unique to the island, which its population, having left their homes in Africa, Europe, and Asia, were forced to use the limited amount of goods (for example, fish and coconut milk) that were wildly available. Although most Jamaicans are of mixed African descent, the dish is not consumed on the African mainland nor on any other continent. It is now, however, consumed by small minorities on the island of Tobago as well as areas of South and Central America which have Jamaican expats.[3]

The name rondón is a Jamaican Patois anglicism of the words "run down", which describes the "runny" or "liquefied" nature of the sauce.


Since rondón is a traditional dish shared by different countries, the ingredients may vary from region to region. However, coconut milk is an essential ingredient in all the variants.

In Nicaragua the meat used might be fish, beef, pork or even turtle meat—a common ingredient in Caribbean cuisine but also illegal in some countries—to which seasonings are added. It might include bell peppers, onion, bananas, cassava, elephant's ear and Argan. On the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, the ingredients include cassava, taro, yam, plantain and green bananas. The meat might be fish, lobsters or crabs and spices such as thyme, garlic, onions and yellow lantern chilli or "chile panameño", an important ingredient in Costa Rican cuisine. It can be served with flour dumplings. On the Colombian isle of San Andrés, the ingredients used are fish, snails, other seafood or pork. The vegetables include cassava, taro, plantain, potatoes and the spices used include basil, oregano, peppers, onion, garlic and poultry seasoning. In Panama, the seafood prepared with coconut milk can be served with rice, tostones or "patacones", and salad.


  1. ^ Lefever, Harry G. Turtle Bogue: Afro-Caribbean life and culture in a Costa Rican village. Susquehanna University Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780313305344.
  2. ^ Ayora-Diaz, Steffan Igor. Cooking Technology Transformations in Culinary Practice in Mexico and Latin America. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781474234696.
  3. ^ Higman, B.W. Jamaican Food: History, Biology, Culture. University of the West Indies Press, 2008. p. 168. ISBN 9766402051.