Dominican Republic Typical Cuisine – National Dominican Food Recipes
The food of Dominican Republic is a blend of many different cultural dishes all combined to make style of cooking that is unique to this island. With influences from the Taino Indians, Spaniards, African Slaves and many other immigrants, the Dominican dishes or comida criolla has evolved. The Dominicans have created their own food and cooking styles into dishes that have their own distinctive flavors, tastes and appearances.
Dominican food is high in carbohydrates and starch. Most recipes are not complicated and are made from very natural and locally grown foods that are readily available in gardens, trees and from local vendors. Add a little locally raised meat or a fresh catch of fish, and some spices and you have a typical Dominican meal. Remember that typical Dominican foods are usually not spicy. In local type eateries there is a high chance that you will not see any black pepper. If you ask many will give you a bottle of hot sauce instead. They, in general do not like their foods hot.
Breakfast Dominican style has many options from which to choose. One of the traditional foods served for breakfast is Mangú, which is mashed plantains with some flavoring added and topped with lots of red onions. The orange squash / auyama is used to make mazamorra that is also served with onions. Fried cheese is also a favorite served with fried salami and eggs. People love their oatmeal/ avena that usually a bit runny cooked with milk and is very sweet. Of course there is always a good variety of fruits from which to choose. Many people eat Sancocho and Mondongo for breakfast as well. To wash it all down have some jugo de avena, hot chocolate made with water or milk, some fresh juice and of course a hot cup of espresso style coffee made fresh to order.
The typical Dominican lunch, called La Bandera Dominicana / The Dominican Flag, consists of beans/ habichuelas and rice/ arroz, meat/ carne or fish/ piscado, and a salad/ ensalada of some sort. The plate is filled with the most rice heaped on a plate. The habichuelas/ juicy beans come in black, red, white or green, depending on the type of bean used. These beans are usually served in a small bowl or cup on the side and you pour this on top of the rice, along with some of the sauce from the meat if you so desire. You eat this with a large spoon and a knife used for pushing the food onto the spoon. The meat is usually cut into pieces and is stewed. The portion size of meat is dwarfed when it sits next to the hugh amount of rice on the plate. There are different varieties of salads that can be served the most popular being, Green Salad / Ensalada Verde, Avacado Salad/ Ensalada de Aguacate, Russian Potato Salad/ Ensalada Rusa, and a boiled salad I love with tayota, carrots and potatoes. When the beans are made just right and the rice has the perfect amount of salt, along with a little concón/ crispy fried rice from the bottom of the pan, this meal is wonderful. Most Dominicans eat this meal everyday of their lives.
Sancocho is the national dish of the Dominican people. It is made with a variety of meats and vegetables such as pork, beef, goat, fish, sweet potatoes. There is also another type of soup – stew type dish called asopao which is meat, veggies and rice in a flavorful broth.
Mofongo – typical Dominican dish made with mashed fried green platanos/ plantains. These traditionally are mashed with chicharrones/fried pork skins. This is served with a broth on the side for dipping or moistening the dish.
The evening meal is usually something light as the main meal is served midday. You will see Dominicans eating a sandwich or a soup or stew such as Sancocho. They do eat full dinners if they go out to a restaurant in the evening but at home it is usually light. Maybe they will pick up a snack on the street such as Chicharones, pasteles en hoja a hamburger or some fruit. Along many of the streets throughout the country you can find small trucks selling all types offried foods and sandwiches. The roasted pork sandwiches are wonderful. Some snacks/ picadera consisting of olives, cheese and salami to go with a cold drink with friends are also popular.
The Dominicans know how to make desserts and sweets just right. They use all the local ingredients to make candies and cakes like no other place in the world. Try out a mixture of beans, condensed milk and some other sweet and interesting ingredients. The name of this sweet mix is Habichuelas con dulce. It is a traditional dessert served during Easter but can also be found the year round if you make your quest in the right places. It is also made into an ice cream that can be bought at Bon’s Helados. You would never thought of beans as a dessert and ice cream. This is a must taste for sure. There is also the Dominican cake called Bizcocho that you can get with or without icing. The Flan is sweet and creamy and the candies made from coconut, papaya, almonds and other local fruits are yummy.
Whatever you choose to eat while you are in Dominican Republic you should try new things. Things that may look strange to you might be a new yummy for your pallet. Some you might not like but most of the cuisine in this country you will enjoy. You should keep your mind open to new taste sensations and try something new. Whenever you visit a new place it is always important to try something different. You just might be pleasantly pleased. Try going to a restaurant and asking for something typical Dominican. If invited to a persons home for dinner make sure you try everything, no matter what it is. Even if you are not crazy about what is served let them know how much you enjoyed everything. They are always hospitable and will probably be watching you while dining to make sure you are comfortable and happy. Many times when you are sitting in a restaurant, having a drink or snack in a Colmado or enjoying any type of food or drink Dominicans will pass by and say “Buen Provecho”. This means “Enjoy your meal”. Dominicans are a friendly people and they use this phrase often.
There is a good number of restaurants in the Sosua – Cabarete – Puerto Plata area that offer a wide choice of Dominican dishes. For example, in Sosua: La Finca Restaurant, Cafe Tropical, Bailey’s, El Mofongo, Don Andres, Luna Llena, Waterfront. In Cabarete: Restaurant Max, Casa Mami, Chichigua. In Puerto Plata: Yasmin Grill, Le Papillon, El Mofongo.
To view restaurants’ contact details please visit our Directory (in the left hand side of the website).
Category: DR Living |