Dominican Republic cuisine is predominantly made up of a combination of Spanish, indigenous Taíno, and African influences, the first and last occurring over the last five centuries. Dominican cuisine resembles that of other countries in Latin America, those of the nearby islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba, most of all, though the dish names differ sometimes.
Breakfast can consist of eggs or meat and mangú (mashed plantain). A heartier version uses deep-fried meat, such as Dominican salami. As in Spain, the largest, most important meal of the day is lunch. Its most typical form, nicknamed La Bandera ("The Flag"), consists of rice, red beans, meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish), and salad.
Dishes and their origins
The Dominican Republic was formerly a Spanish colony. Many Spanish traits are still present in the island. Many traditional Spanish dishes have found a new home in the Dominican Republic, some with a twist. African and Taíno dishes still hold strong, some of them unchanged.
All or nearly all food groups are accommodated in typical Dominican cuisine, as it incorporates meat or seafood; grains, especially rice, corn (native to the island), and wheat; vegetables, such as beans and other legumes, potatoes, yuca, or plantains, and salad; dairy products, especially milk and cheese; and fruits, such as oranges, bananas, and mangos. However, there is heaviest consumption of starches and meats, and least of dairy products and non-starchy vegetables.
Sofrito, a sautéed mix of local herbs and spices, is used in many dishes. Throughout the south-central coast bulgur, or whole wheat, is a main ingredient in quipes and tipili, two dishes brought by Levantine Middle Eastern immigrants. Other favorite foods and dishes include chicharrón, pastelitos or empanadas, batata, pasteles en hoja (ground roots pockets), chimichurris, plátanos maduros (ripe plantain), and tostones.
Casabe – bread made out of yuca.
Arroz con leche or arroz con dulce – sweet spiced milk and rice pudding. Still used the classic Spanish recipe.
Flan – there are many recipes of flan with a tropical twist from the fresh fruits on the island.
Paella – In the Dominican Republic paella is done with local fish and ground annatto instead of saffron.
Chicharrón – fried pork rinds.
Empanadas - called pastelitos (not to be confused with the Cuban pastelitos).
Mangú – mashed, boiled plantain. Originated in west Africa and is known as fufu in Africa, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Los tres golpes is a term meaning "the three hits". The three hits are fried cheese, Dominican salami and eggs severed on the side of mangú. The mangú itself is topped with onions or avocado. This is a typical Dominican breakfast but can also be severed at lunch and dinner.
Yanikeiki, also called Yaniqueques.
Yanikeke – Jonnycakes a dish brought by sugar cane workers from the Lesser Antilles over a century ago.
Tostones – fried green plantain slices served flattened and salted.
Mofongo – a popular fried plantain dish from Puerto Rico. It is made from fried green plantains or fried yuca, seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, then mashed with a little broth. Mofongo is usually served with a chicken broth soup.
Arroz con almendras y pasas - Rice with raisins and almonds. A very popular Arab dish brought over by Lebanese it is usually eaten around Christmas.
Pasteles en hojas – originated in Puerto Rico and similar to tamales. Tubers and/or plantains are grated and the paste is formed into a rectangular purse shape, stuffed with meat (usually ground meat and Dominican seasoning). They are then tightly wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled. Pasteles are usually severed on Christmas and have become a staple in Dominican cuisine.
Arepa – Dominican arepa is different from that of the Venezuelan and Colombian arepa. It is very popular as street food in the Dominican Republic.
Chambre - legumes and meat stew. It has African origins in the poor rural parts of the Dominican Republic.
Mondongo – beef tripe soup. Its origins lead back to African slaves in the Dominican Republic.
Chen-chen - A corn dish originating in San Juan De La Maguana with African influences.
Arañitas – yuca fritters.
Moro de guandules con coco – rice, peas, and coconut milk dish. This dish originated in Samaná.
Sancocho – very hearty stew with a mixture of meats including chicken, pork, shrimp or fish, and several tubers and vegetables, like cassava, corn, potatoes, yautía, and yam. The sancocho de siete carnes (seven-meat sancocho) and sancocho de habichuelas (bean sancocho) are unique to the Dominican Republic.
Niño envuelto – rice cake wrapped in cabbage leaf. A dish influenced by Lebanese immigrants.
Chicharrón de pollo – fried boneless chicken.
Carne mechada - Braised beef roll. Not to be confused to the Venezuelan dish of shredded meat also known as carne mechada.
Chapea - Red or white beans stew with mashed squash, longaniza (sausage), and ripe plantains.
Habichuelas blancas con longaniza - White bean stew with longaniza.
Guanimos - Dominican tamales or hallaca. Guanimos are made of cornflour instead of cornmeal seen in both hallace and tamales. They are then stuffed with meat (usually ground meat) and then wrapped in plantain leaf or corn husk.
Asopao - Rice soup. Asopao can be made with chicken, shrimp or sea food in general.
Pastelón - Casseroles. A main element of Dominican cuisine. There are more than six variations in the Dominican Republic the most popular ones being pastelon de platano maduro (yellow plantain casserole) and pastelon de yuca (cassava casserole). Pastelón can be found in other Latin American Countries like Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama and Cuba, specially the eastern part which has great Dominican influence. Pastelón are usually stuffed with ground meat or chicken.
Arroz con maiz - Rice with corn. A popular staple of the Dominican cuisine. It combines the sweet flavor of corn with the salty flavor of rice and other ingredients.
Locrios - A classic style of mixing rice with other kind of meat. There are many variations of this dish, some being unique to the Dominican Republic. The famous dish arroz con pollo, is called locrio de pollo in the Dominican Republic.
Chimichurris - Hamburgers topped with cabbage slaw.
Pan de coco - Coconut bread.
Camarones con coco y gengibre - Shrimp with coconut and ginger. This dish is prepared with Dominican seasoning as a base and with the addition of coconut milk and ginger.
Mazamorra - Mashed Squash and onions. Not to be confused with Peruvian mazamorra. This dish is used as an alternative instead of mangu sometimes.
Buche e perico - Literally parrot's cheek. A hearty corn stew.
Bollitos de yuca - cassava fritters balls stuffed with cheese.
Pico y pala - Pick and shovel. Chicken feet and neck is associated with the popular dining rooms and cafeterias, very common in low income neighborhoods. Usually cooked with onions, cilantro, culantro, oregano, and sugar.
Bollos de harina de maiz.
Guisados - There are many stew recipes in Dominican cooking many with same or similar seasoning. Stews such as eggplant, okra, heart of palm, beans, meat, fish, shellfish, even cow tongue and chicken feet can be stewed. Because most of the country is scarce on food Dominicans tend to guisado what they can settle on.
Bolitas o bollitos de platano maduro y queso - ripe plantain balls filled with cheeselengua picante - spicy cow tonguecrema de cepa de apio.
Wasakaka - Mojo sauce know as waskaka in The Dominican Republic. It refers to roasted chicken marinated in sour orange and garlic with boiled cassava on the side. A play of a classic Cuban dish roasted pork in mojo with fried or steamed cassava.
Dulce de leche – A recipe from Argentina that's very popular in Latin America. Dominican dulce de leche is thicker then Argentinean and always has cinnamon.
Habichuelas con dulce – sweet creamed beans dessert. Made with coconut milk, sweet potato chunks, etc.
Bizcocho Dominicano – Dominican cake.
Mala Rabia - Sweet plantains, guava, and sweet potato cooked in simple syrup and cinnamon.
Jalao - Chewy balls of "pulled" coconut and molasses.
Conconete - Coconut macaroons with ginger and cinnamon.
Majarete - Corn pudding made with cornstarch, milk, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Chaca - Corn pudding made with corn kernels, milk, cinnamon and sometimes coconut milk
Gofio - A sweet cornmeal powder from the Canary islands.
Cancina Palitos de cocoquesillo de coco.
Dulce de leche cortada.
Dulce de coco tiernojalea de batata - sweet potato pudding
Dulce de leche con pina - Dulce de leche with pineapple.
Amibar de frutas.
Morir Soñando - a popular orange juice, milk, and sugar drink.
Ponche - eggnog is very popular around Christmas time.
Mabí – juice made from colubrina bark or fruit, sometimes fermented, sometimes spiced.
Mama Juana - an alcoholic drink concocted by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs.
Pera Piña - literally pear and pineapple. This drink is usually made by boiling the skin of a pineapple with rice together. The drink is then frozen. It is called this way because of the pear taste it contains.
Jugo de avena - oatmeal juice.
Chocolate de mani - peanut based hot chocolate.
Cerveza - beer, especially Presidente.
Chocolate de agua - chocolate with water rather than milk.
Batidas - tropical fruit smoothies.
Jugos Naturales - fresh, natural tropical fruit juices.
What Dominicans tend to eat depends highly on where they live: whether near the sea or in the interior mountains. In either case, most Dominican meat dishes tend to involve pork, as pigs are farmed quite heavily on the island. Meat dishes tend to be very well cooked or even stewed in Dominican restaurants, a tradition stemming from the lesser availability of refrigeration on the island.
Seaside Dominican fishing villages will have great varieties of seafood, the most common being shrimp, marlin, mahi-mahi or dorado, and lobster. Most villagers more commonly dine on cheap, lesser-quality fish, usually stewed with la criolla, a type of rice. Premium seafood tends to be too expensive for the many locals, and is saved for the island's upper class and the tourist resorts.
Differences between Dominican cuisine and those of other parts of the West Indies include the milder spicing of the Dominican, which mainly uses onions, garlic, cilantro, cilantro ancho (culantro), ají cubanela (cubanelle pepper), and oregano. Dominican sofrito is known on the island as sazon.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.