Go on a virtual trip to the highways of the Dominican Republic, packed with foodie stands that sell everything from fresh cashews to jams & preserves. And a recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Cashews!
You would never think that driving across the Dominican Republic, zigzagging between towns and cities, that the road would have small pit stops like the ones here. These stops are 99% food-based, selling whatever produce and local items the town is known for. While traveling north of Santo Domingo, we drove through some great highways dotted with these stands. Specifically, cashews, preserves, and fire-roasted sweet potatoes. Random, but so delicious!
This specific stand, run by young Jose and even younger Emilia, was packed with the aforementioned treats. We chatted with them for a while, listening to their story. They come down from the hills where they live at 6:30am, when the set up for the day. They’ll spend the entire day manning their stand, trying to sell their goods, until 5pm, when they head back home. Sadly, many young children in the Dominican Republic don’t attend school for lack of resources, thus they’re working typically in pairs to earn their living.
Carefully lined up are freshly roasted cashews, as well as jars of preserved oranges, zapote, tomatoes, and other fruits. The cashew jars go for $100 Dominican pesos, about US$3 – a steal since cashews tend to be a more expensive nut! At that price, my family and I decided to stock up and bought about ten jars of it. Mostly for me to bring back to Martha’s Vineyard and snack on!
Loving the photo above and the light blue scroll that says “Confia en Dios” or trust in God. That’s the thing about Dominicans – our faith is what moves us. Faith becomes one with us and is linked to food memories! After the great memories made on this trip, I decided to relive our love for cashews and made these Cinnamon Sugar Cashews. Cashews are the perfect nut for this because they still stay a little soft when roasted, unlike other nuts!
The great thing about this recipe is you can use whatever mix of spices you’d like. I kept it simple with just cinnamon, but you can add allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, or even black pepper for some spice! Let me know in the comments what spices you’d add to these cashews to make them your own.