Last Updated on May 23, 2021 by Ed Joven
Must-Try Traditional Foods When You are Visiting the Dominican Republic
Do not miss the chance to visit the Dominican Republic because their local dish is something you must try if you are a true food enthusiast.
There are so many stories behind every country’s history. The Dominican Republic is no exception. The history of the nation is filled with numerous treasured stories about its beliefs and lifestyle. The nation was dominated by Spanish colonial rule for hundreds of years. After that, it was again ruled by France, Haiti, and America until 1924. Then, the country got its independence.
However, being dominated by different cultures, their lifestyle and food habit is influenced by many of them. Their way of living and culture is a unique mixture of numerous traditions.
The food habits of the Dominican people are a combination of numerous cultures. The cuisine is a mixture of Taino, African, Spanish, and Middle Eastern influences
If you are going to visit the Dominican Republic, you may find the answers about their cuisine and the history of every food.
1. Traditional Mangú with Mashed Plantains
One of the key ingredients of Dominican cuisine is plantains. This ingredient was introduced to the Dominican Republic in the year 1516 by the Portuguese. Native Africans already knew about the item but they didn’t know how to use the ingredient properly. When they discovered the taste and value of the food, it quickly became a Dominican mainstay. The fruit contains more starch than a banana. The fruit is both cooked and fried.
In the Dominican Republic, a dish everyone likes to have in any important meal is Mangú. This is considered a traditional dish. To prepare this dish, raw or tender plantains are boiled first then turned into a smooth paste. The fruit is then served with butter or oil.
2. Best Three in A Plate or, Los Tres Golpes
Another popular dish of the nation includes a mix of fries, white cheese, eggs, avocado, and Dominican Salami. The dish is served with a popular Dominican cheese called tres golpes also known as queso de freír. The cheese tastes like halloumi cheese and is served fried with the dish.
Dominicans do not like to eat raw salams and they prefer potted pork meat in the salami.
3. Dish Which Reflects the National Flag:
Something Dominicans like to have at their lunch table every day is La Bandera Dominicana. The ingredients of the dish reflect the combination of three colors of the Dominican national flag. The dish can be served with both avocado or with tostones. In addition, the dish also tastes good with a plain side salad.
4. Slit Corn Risotto or Chenchén
Dominicans generally do not like to eat rice in their daily meal. They like to replace rice with cracked corn. A popular dish made with corn is known as Chenchén. The dish is mainly a risotto and the consistency depends on the preference of the chef. Popularly the dish is cooked with coconut milk and served with goat meat.
5. Deep-fried Dough or Yaniqueques:
The most popular Dominican street food is Yaniqueques. The food is often found by the beach during summer. The dish was introduced by the British ruled West Indies Cocolo immigrants to the country. Popularly the dish is known as Johnny Cakes by the locals. The cakes are prepared with cornflour. They are deep-fried dough that can be served with another popular bite, Boca chica.
6. Empanadas of Tapioca Grain:
Among local Dominicans, a snack at the top of the list is fresh deep-fried crispy pockets that are stuffed with cheese, shellfish, or meat. The dish is a hot selling item among the local frituras. The snack is made with cassava stems which are known as Tainos of Hispaniola among the locals.
7. Round Crushed Plantains or Mofongo:
One of the classic Dominican dishes is mofongo. The food was introduced by Africans and became popular among the modern-day inhabitants of the Dominican Republic. The food is cooked with crisped plantains which basically are pasted pork crackling or chicharrón. Dominicans mostly like to modify their recipes with pork.
Popularly the dish is eaten with pork though some also like to have chicken with the dish. Moreover, the dish is made in a round shape by the locals. Mofongo is preferred both as dinner and lunch and also popular as a late-night snack in the city areas.
8. Mashed Vegetables with Meat or Pasteles en Hoja:
Dominican Christmas and New Year’s eve are incomplete without one dish which is popularly known as Pasteles en hoja which tastes like tamales. The dish is made with mashed plantains along with different root vegetables and beef or chicken chunks. Finally, all the ingredients are wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled thoroughly.
9. Authentic Seven Meat Dish or Sancocho:
A dish that is considered as an original Dominican dish is Sancocho de Siete Carnes. The dish is mainly a thick, delicious stew that is made with different types of meat, plantains, and root vegetables. The dish is specially made with seven different types of meats. They are beef, goat, pork belly, ribs, sausage, chicken, and smoked ham bones. However, the ingredients may vary from cook to cook according to their preference but some ingredients must be included to make the original recipe.
10. Flavoured Braised Chicken or Pollo Guisado:
A cheap and easily found meat in the Dominican market is chicken. In addition, chicken can be used in almost every Dominican dish. Many add variations to the dish according to their taste but the main dish is made with delicious braised chicken. The dish is spiced with cilantro, garlic, peppers, potatoes, and green olives. However, some people like to add sugar or a splash of vinegar for a touch of sweetness.
11. Fresh Fish with Coconut Milk or Pescado con Coco:
Coconut milk and fresh fish are some of the most popular dishes among the Dominican people which is known as Dominican Pesado con Coco. The dish is made by the people of the Samaná region and became popular all over the country due to its unique taste and fresh flavor.
To prepare the dish, grouper or red snapper is mostly used by the locals. However, any sea fish will add a similar level of freshness and flavor to the recipe.
12. Cream Beans or Habichuelas con Dulce:
If you are not a bean lover, you should try one of the most popular dishes in the Dominican Republic. The dish is mainly made of sweet cream. Popularly, soft red kidney beans, sweet potato, coconut milk, sugar, raisins, cloves, and cinnamon are used to make the cream. The dessert is topped with some little biscuits which taste like crispy milk bites.
Local people of the Dominican Republic are not only passionate food lovers but they also love music and dance. The mixture of numerous cultures made the lifestyle more unique yet simple. So do not wait anymore and taste authentic Dominican foods whenever you can.
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