Dominican cuisine has a plethora of wonderful foods that anyone can enjoy! Therefore, if you plan to visit the Dominican Republic next, do not forget to try at least one or two items from their authentic Dominican cuisine.
Naturally, a cuisine becomes more enriched when it is a blend of multiple cultures. Therefore, Dominican foods are one of such cuisines.
Settlers from Africa, Taino, and Europe have visited and settled in the region many times. Hence, they influenced the cuisine in many aspects.
Moreover, many dishes of the Dominican Republic have not originated in their own region but were introduced by the immigrants. The cuisine is a combination of Middle East, Asia, and Mediterranean recipes. For any food enthusiast, such cuisines can be a treat from paradise.
When you visit the Dominican Republic, you may get to taste a dish that was originated by the immigrants, but it is now paired with a traditional Dominican item, such as Caribbean rice with mangu.
So if you visit the Dominican Republic, here is a list of foods you should try at least once to get the ethnic flavour of authentic Dominican cuisine.
1. The Flag Meal Or La Bandera
Usually, people consider breakfast one of the most important meals of the day. Dominican people like to eat heavy foods in their lunch. They like to have heavy meals with rice, meat, and vegetables. The dish is full of flavours.
Hence, the first on our list is the La Bandera or the flag. The name has its own background. This is because, the colour of the Dominican flag is red, white, and blue. These are the colours of La Bandera as well.
The key elements of the dish are white rice with black, red, pigeon peas or kidney beans, and meat. However, some people prefer chicken, and some like to have it with beef.
The meal tastes better with some fresh side salads, and it tastes best with traditional tostones. The locals like to have a meal with fresh avocado.
2. Thick Stew Or Asopao
Another popular stew among the Dominican people is known as Asopao. The dish is mainly a thick stew prepared with rice, chicken, or shrimp.
Due to the blend of flavours, if you ask any Dominican about their favourite rainy day dish, they will definitely mention Asopao.
According to them, the sound of rain and cold weather automatically creates a craving for the dish. The stew tastes and smells best if it is cooked in a pot.
3. Traditional Empanadas Or Pastelitos
A snack that is a must in any Dominican party is pastelitos. The snack looks like and is also made like empanadas.
Stuffing of the bite can be made with minced chicken, beef, mutton, pork, cheese, or with finely diced fresh vegetables.
The snack can be served as fried, baked, or steamed form. However the pastelitos are made, one can hardly stop at only one piece.
4. Star Burger Stuffing Or Chimmichurri
In any country, one of the common street foods you will notice is burgers. The Dominican Republic is no exception.
However, they do not have the burger in the traditional way but stuff the bun with a famous local ingredient known as chimichurri. This item is considered the star of the street items.
The burger is stuffed with a chimmi patty, a piece of tomato, sauce, caramelized onion, grated white or purple cabbage, and plenty of mayonnaise. A bite of the burger will take you on a ride to the food paradise!
5. Cassava Bread Or Casabe
Though cassava chips are quite famous all around the world, Dominicans are more into cassava bread than regular cassava chips.
The bread has great food value too. They are filled with fiber, sodium, fat, very little amount of carbs, and almost zero cholesterol. The snack is healthy and heavy at the same time.
However, the snack does not taste good alone. Rather it tastes delicious with a sip of coffee or habichuelas con dulce (sweet cream of beans).
6. Local Fried Chicken Or Pica Pollo
Unlike so many other food chains all over the world, one of the famous recipes in Dominican restaurants and street shops is fried chicken.
Though Dominicans do not fry their chicken in a regular way. They have their own recipe for fried chicken which is known as Pica Pollo.
However, the recipe was first introduced by the Chinese immigrants to the country. Then the local people modified the recipe in their own way. The chicken is made differently by the locals in many ways.
Although most of them follow one particular method, which is boiling the chicken before frying. Salt, oregano, and pepper are the basic spices used commonly for seasoning, and finally, the chicken is deep-fried in hot oil.
7. Meaty Stew Or Traditional Sancocho
Another must-try item of the Dominican Republic would be sancocho. This is mainly a stew which is a must on the menu on any special occasion.
Sancocho is one of the traditional items which is made mostly on New Year’s Eve. As the item is one of the local recipes, home cooks prepare the dish in various ways.
The dish is usually cooked with 3 to 7 different types of meats. The meat varieties include chicken, beef, mutton, pork, etc.
The stew becomes more flavorful as local cooks always add corn, yucca, cilantro, auyama, and lots of fresh seasonal vegetables to it. Auyama is mainly a West Indian Pumpkin.
8. Boiled Root Or Yucca
A local favourite that is eaten both for dinner and breakfast is locally known as yucca.
Though most people around the world are familiar with the food and nutrition value of lotus root. However, yucca is also filled with nutritious value and considered one of the most delicious side dishes with any rice platter or stew.
Basically, the root is boiled firstly then served with pickled onions. The root may taste sweetish on the basis of the harvesting process. Yucca is eaten boiled, fried, or baked.
Locals mostly like boiled yucca with a drizzle of butter with cassava bread or plain rice.
9. Salted Dry Codfish Or Bacalao
The most favourite fish among the Caribbeans is codfish.
Though, the Dominicans have modified the recipe on their own. Hence, they cook it with dried salted codfish, onion, peppers, and garlic which is known as bacalao. The stew is also made with sliced potatoes.
Add Dominican Cuisine To Your Gastronomic Adventures!
The actual Dominican cuisine is filled with varieties of food items. The list is quite long if you really want to know about the whole cuisine properly.
However, you should try at least some of them next time when you are visiting the Dominican Republic or a Dominican restaurant.
As a summary, here is our list of Dominican foods we think you should try:
- The Flag Meal or La Bandera
- Thick Stew Or Asopao
- Traditional Empanadas Or Pastelitos
- Star Burger Stuffing Or Chimmichurri
- Cassava Bread Or Casabe
- Local Fried Chicken Or Pica Pollo
- Meaty Stew Or Traditional Sancocho
- Boiled Root Or Yucca
- Salted Dry Codfish Or Bacalao
Think we missed your favourite Dominican foods? Let us know by dropping an email to email@example.com.