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A culinary trip to Dominican Republic

Get to know the Caribbean island through the palate.

There are many ways to travel: by planes, trains, buses, cars, boats or ….through the imagination. We can go to either country by purchasing a ticket from a travel agency or approach them collecting data on its major cities, regions, customs, culture, climate, currency … But whenever we travel either one way or another, we want to know all about the cuisine, most characteristic dishes, most used spices, the most unusual flavors.

Dominican Republic has earned an excellent reputation for its varied and tasty cuisine and the diversity of its dishes and stews. The cuisine of the Dominican Republic is an amalgam of Spanish and African influences that have affected the social and cultural development of the country. There is plenty of variety and dishes in the Dominican cuisine but as in every culture there are a number of them that are the flagship and reference of the country:

Sancocho: It is perhaps the most popular and representative dish of the cuisine of the Dominican Republic. This delicious dish is prepared for special occasions. The traditional stew is usually made with beef. At first glance, it looks like a “Spanish stew” but its ingredients – yucca, potatoes, yams, yautia, plantain, cilantro, etc – make it very exquisite and special.

La Bandera: This dish cannot me missing on any Dominican table. The Dominican bandera simply consists of white rice, red beans and meat, all mixed in one dish.

El Moro: It is a mixture of beans, rice and beef stew. Also, in many cases and places in the Dominican Republic, it is accompanied with cod.

El Moro de Gandules con Coco: This moro bears the unmistakable flavor of coconut milk and pigeon peas: pea-like pulses.

El Locrio: A classic creole cuisine of the Dominican Republic. It is similar to the Spanish paella. This delicious rice can be combined with shrimp, prawns, sardines and cod.

Asopao: The Asopao is an exquisite soup made out of rice, chicken, tomato and a touch of cilantro. There are many varieties and even some asopaos “DeLuxe”, like the seafood one.

Pica Pollo: It is simply pieces of fried chicken, but with a distinctive Latin flavor that sets it apart from the rest. The trick of such a delicious flavor lies in its preparation: good flour, point of frying leaving it crispy and the delicious taste of Dominican oregano. Do not forget to try the Pica Pollo with good beer and served with fried plantains.

Tostones: They are the basic complement and garrison in the cuisine of the Dominican Republic. Tostones, also called fritos, are pieces of “green” plantain, fried with a touch of salt, sometimes vinegar, and garlic. Crunchy and delicious, they always accompany the Pica Pollo and all the great dishes.

Yaniqueques: It’s like a wheat flour cake, cooked with soda bicarbo- nate, water and salt. You can buy yaniqueques at any mobile food stand, and especially on any beach. The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon “Johnny Cakes”, cakes of US origin.

Bollitos de Yuca: It’s a typical Dominican cuisine appetizer, these balls made from yucca and fried in the pan. Usually stuffed with cheddar cheese although in some stands and beaches, you can find them stuffed with crab. Exquisite!!

Empanaditas de Yuca: Similar to the yucca balls but in form of a pie and stuffed with meat. Some have a touch of oregano, cumin and other of peppermint.

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