Who doesn’t love a vacation? Especially in the Caribbean in the middle of the winter. I recently had the privilege of visiting my beautiful Country, the Dominican Republic during the holidays. Between the perfect 80 degrees weather, beautiful beaches and festive atmosphere every day of the week, the only complaint that I have are the 4 pounds that I gained from eating everything that I came across.
I can’t speak for other nationalities, but I feel like everything in my island tastes better than back home in the United States. I mean something as simple as a ham and cheese sandwich will leave you nibbling on the crumbs. It might the fact that things are grown naturally, or the fresh air, or maybe even the fact that you can sit down at noon with your family and enjoy lunch stress free. Whatever the case might be, they have some really good food in the Dominican Republic.
Here are some of the delicious dishes that I enjoyed while on my trip:
1. Sancocho: This is one of the most popular dishes of the Dominican culture. It is a thick stew, with different types of meats. Typically the perfect sancocho is called “7 carnes” or 7 meats, It has chicken, beef and pork and even hen (gallina). No worries the rest of the meats fall under that category, (sausage, pork ribs, etc.) The thickness of the soup is gained from the multiple root vegetables that are included. You can pretty much add anything from yucca, plantain, and potatoes.
Sancocho is our go to plate for almost everything. It is our comfort food in a cold day, the perfect cure to a hang over, and a great dish for a get together that will guarantee a lot of guests will be showing up. Sancocho is yummy anyway that you have it, but it is best served with a side of white rice and a slice of avocado.
2. Mangu: Ever heard the term, “ I am more Dominican than mangu?” that is because Mangu is literally the most Dominican food in existence. Sure we share other dishes such as sancocho and rice and beans with other Latin American countries. But the mangu is an authentic dish of the beautiful Dominican Republic. The plantain is a tropical fruit that is very abundant and affordable in our land. People in the country grow it in their back yards and Dominicans eat it in every way possible.
During some point in Dominican history, someone had the bright idea of smashing the plantains, frying some onions and throwing it over it. There are many things that you can eat mangu with; but there only 3 sides that makes it a great dish, which are called “Los Tres Golpes” The Three Hits. The sides which are by the way all fried, are eggs, cheese and salami. The peculiar thing about this dish is that the sides are not really sides; but displayed gracefully on top.
- 3. Fried Fish: Okay, so I won’t sit here and claim that fried fish is a Dominican invented dish. It’s something that you can pretty much have anywhere. However, you can’t just go to any beach in the world and have fresh fish that was just caught, fried on front of you. That is the beauty of my land, we pride ourselves in freshness and flavor. A Dominican “sazon” or seasoning is unmistakable. It takes some special hands to marinate a good fish just right.
You can enjoy your fried fish with some fried plantains, fried sweet potatoes and some breath taking views of the Caribbean sea.
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