What are the typical foods that I should try?
Dominican food is very diverse. In the morning, sample mangú (green plantains, boiled and mashed) with eggs, fried cheese, and fried salami–the traditional Dominican breakfast. At midday, la bandera dominicana (Dominican flag) is the typical lunch plate with rice, red kidney beans, a meat stew, and tostones–mashed and double-fried green plantains. Also popular are chicharrón or pork rinds, locrio de pollo or fried rice with chicken, mofongo–plantain mound with deep fried pork or shrimp, and garlic, fish in coconut sauce, stewed crab and conch, roasted or stewed goat with boiled cassava, and sancocho (a seven-meat stew) accompanied by avocado for dinner. And of course, don’t forget to try cassava bread, and queso de hoja–an artisanal cow’s milk cheese.
Dominican desserts are popular as well–sample grated coconut in cream, sweet beans, sour milk desserts, orange sweets, milk sweets, papaya and pineapple desserts, and guava and cashew paste soaked in syrup. Tropical fruit juices abound, often made into fruit milkshakes or batidas: passion fruit, guava, pineapple, orange, strawberry, mango, mandarin, and papaya.
Don’t miss out on tasting fresh sugar cane juice from one of the fields located throughout the country. You should also sample Dominican coconut water from one of the hundreds of coconut groves and forest–you will love the Dominican coconut’s delicious, thick pulp.