Dominican cuisine has a distinctly Creole slant to it, meaning it’s of European descent but developed in the Americas with African overtones. It’s therefore similar to the cuisine of Latin American countries that surround the Caribbean Sea, although there are subtle variations between regions. The cuisine has been influenced by other peoples and cultures, as is the case with the immigrants from the Lesser Antilles (called “cocolos”), who use coconut in many of their dishes.
Daily lunch in the Dominican Republic typically consists of white rice, stewed kidney beans and stewed meat (any kind will do although most prefer beef or pork). This dish may be accompanied by salad and green or ripe banana.
Bananas are eaten throughout the country in many different ways, including boiled banana. Two examples of banana dishes are tostónes (fried crushed banana patties) and mangú, which is a puree of boiled green banana. As well as being fried as tostónes, ripe bananas can also be cooked in syrup.
A typical dish that has become enormously popular is sancocho, which is a dish common to many parts of Latin America, with local variations.
As in the USA, the Dominican Republic also has fast food, with a popular choice being pica pollo, consisting of fried breaded chicken, often accompanied by tostónes or chips.
Some of the nation’s favourite desserts include:
- Sweet creamed beans: cream of kidney bean with milk, sugar and raisins. Primarily eaten over Easter.
- Majarete corn pudding: cream made from corn, with powdered cinnamon on top.
- Jalao: coconut candy made with treacle, which is formed into balls.
- Soft coconut and milk caramel.
- Soft milk caramels, either served on their own or filled with fruit, such as orange, guava, cashew, etc.