Dominican Republic food and Caribbean Recipes
If you are not familiar with Dominican Republic food, try mixing Spanish influences and the cultural and cooking practices of the native Taino Indians and you will have a clear idea of what it is like.
The first thing you will notice is that there is definitely a Latin American feel to the cuisine, but compared to the food of other West Indian countries, it is not as heavily spiced. The main flavors of Caribbean recipes are garlic, onions, coriander and oregano. Goat dishes are popular in Dominican Republic because they are abundant here
It is usually grazed on wild oregano which gives Dominican Republic food and meats a distinctive "pre-marinated" flavor. Though Dominicans do raise very nice cattle, beef is not so common because it is very expensive; they tend to export most of it. Dominican Republic food is generally very well cooked or simmered, it is hard to find anything done rare. In fact, when you ask for rare they tend to take it as "not burned".
The locals tend to eat a lot of meat (goat and chicken) as it is less expensive than fish and seafood, but tourists can enjoy great fresh seafood, especially shrimp, marlin, mahi-mahi, rock lobster and Dorado. Most resort areas, like Punta Cana, are near the coast and you'll find great seafood restaurants right on the beach.
"La Bandera" (the flag), the most popular national dish in Dominican Republic, is a combination of rice, red beans, stewed meat (usually goat), salad and fried plantains. Comida Criolla is also popular. It is a stewed chicken dish served with rice and beans. The only true Taino dishes that are still common are Casabe - flat bread made from the yucca plant. The plant is shredded, soaked and pressed to have the poisonous components of the plant removed. Casava, another Taino dish, is a type of fritter that is stuffed with meat, chicken or fish.
In 1492, when Columbus arrived to the island, he brought Spanish cuisine with him. Paella, the most famous Spanish dish, is now common in just about every Dominican kitchen. The dish has been adapted to Dominican Republic food and ingredients, the local rice (criolla) is used and the main coloring of paella (saffron) is not available in the Dominican Republic. While the Spanish have a very strict definition of paella (rice dish cooked over an open fire), the Dominicans now seem to see it as a rice dish that involves whatever ingredients are available. Paella is always a delicious blending of flavors; definitely give it a try while you're there.
Desserts in Dominican Republic tend to be incredibly sweet by North American standards - sugar cane mixed with condensed milk. Favorite local alcoholic beverages are the local rum and El Presidente beer. Common non-alcoholic beverages involve mixing fresh fruit juices with milk to make a kind of smoothie.
The flavors of the Dominican are definitely present in Punta Cana food, but they have been expanded somehow to satisfy the mostly North American tourists. The reality is that tourists travelling to resort destinations usually eat very well at home and expect to eat at least as well on vacation. For that reason, you’ll see a wide variety of dishes and different nationality’s cuisines represented at the resorts in Punta Cana. There are also quite a few very good restaurants in Punta Cana, (although the resorts tend not to tell you about them) sometimes taking a little break from the all-inclusive to try out something a little different is just what the vacation doctor ordered.
Dominican Republic recipes
Caribbean Seafood Paella recipe
Caribbean Rice and Peas recipe
Caribbean Smoked Ribs recipe
Caribbean Coconut Fish recipe
Appetizers and Dominican Republic Food
- Recipe for La Bandera: the Dominican flag