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Food in the Dominican Republic

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Food in the Dominican Republic reflects the country’s African and Spanish influences, influences that also impacted in the cultural and social formation of the country. Dominican Republic food is varied and flavorful, spicy but not hot spicy. The staples are chicken and pork, rice and beans, and yuccas and plantains. Fish is plentiful and fresh, but perhaps not as widely eaten as one might expect on a Caribbean island. Fruit, including mangos, citrus fruit (though not lemons), and passion fruit are popular Dominican Republic food.

Here we provide a guide to some of the most widely eaten Dominican Republic foods, but there are many restaurants in the cities and main tourist hotspots that serve American or international style cuisine.

The most common food in the Dominican Republic is probably a simple plate of rice, beans (usually red), and meat, most commonly chicken. The dish is known colloquially as La Bandera (white rice, red beans, and darkened chicken).

Another representative and popular dish of the Dominican kitchen is the Sancocho stew. This delicious (usually beef) casserole is prepared for the large occasions. Its a Spanish-style stew with particularly Dominican ingredients: yucca, potato, yam, plantains, coriander, etc.

Locrio is also a classic of the Dominican native kitchen. Related to the Spanish paella, this delicious rice dish can combine with shrimps, shrimps, herring, sardines and cod.

Asopao is an exquisite soup of rice, chicken, tomato and dashes of coriander. It is one of the better tonics after a long night of festival and dance.

Perhaps the most popular food in the Dominican Republic, judging by the numerous roadside restaurants, is Pica Pollo, delicious pieces of chicken (fried and breaded, but more healthy and natural than the KFC variety). It has a satisfying crunchy exterior and is richly flavored with Dominican oregano. Goes down great with a Presidente beer. Los Tostones, or fritos, are a natural complement to pica pollo: fried green plantain, flavored with salt, vinegar, and garlic. A crunchy side dish apt for dipping in ketchup.

In the country, try yaniqueques: a cake of wheat flour, cooked with baking soda, water and salt. Commonly sold at beachside stalls. Also popular are Bollitos de Yuca, pellets of yucca filled with cheese or crab and cooked in a frying pan. Classic Dominican breakfasts feature eggs, plantain mangoo, and a delicious breaded fried cheese.

For a quick and easy Dominican Republic food, look for Empanaditas, patties filled with meat or cheese, not dissimilar to a Cornish pasty. Or buy some dried plantain chips, a good and fairly healthy snack. Less healthy are the popular pork rind type crisps. The most famous dessert food in the Dominican Republic is Majarete, a light and delicious concoction you don’t want to miss. Also look out for our favorite: passion fruit ice cream.

Fruit juices are popular Dominican Republic drinks, and good for hydration where the water is unreliable. Coffee is cheap and of a high quality throughout the country. At the bar, the typical Dominican Republic drinks are Presidente beer, a top quality beer that compares favorably to any international brew, and rum, combined with coke for a Cuba libre.

OVERVIEW for your visit to the Dominican Republic:
introduction *  when to go * things to do * events * getting there * getting around * food * history * attractions * music * cities * hotels