There are two basic categories I miss from my home island of the Dominican Republic (aside from my family and friends): fresh tropical fruits and…. the rest of the food! Today, I’m sharing some photos from our latest trip this past fall.
First and foremost, I miss the fresh fruits. Actually, even more so is the availability of all these tropical and Caribbean fruits I can’t really get my hands on in New England. The stand above is about a 3 minute walk from my parents house and the sign translates to 4 items for $100 Dominican Pesos. So basically, four pineapples, papayas, watermelons, or avocados for less than $3 US Dollars! Crazy huh?!
Mangoes are literally a dime a dozen, and growing up with a mango tree in out backyard was a luxury I don’t think I ever truly valued enough. Nothing said summer more than sitting under the shade of a mango tree with my brothers eating mango after mango, the sticky mango juice running down our hands and arms. Oh, those were the days.
Another thing I miss? Green plantains – I can get yellow plantains here on Martha’s Vineyard, but the ever so elusive green plantain seems to be non-existent on island. But I need them to make mangu and tostones! What’s a Dominican girl to do? Sigh…keep dreaming about my next trip.
Identify the fruit above? It’s tamarind! A tart fruit that grows inside pods, it makes some of the best juice in the world! My dad simmers the pulp in water for a couple of hours and then strains and chills it. Later to be sweetened because it’s REALLY tart, it’s a refreshing juice to sip during the summer. You can find tamarind pulp at most Latin grocers.
If you love cashews, you’ll be surprised to see the fruit the come on – the one below is that of the cashew fruit and the nut sits atop the fruit. Only one nut per fruit, it’s understandable that cashews are on the more expensive side.
I also miss the greasy, satisfying Dominican breakfasts. What you see above from left to right is fried salami, fried cheese, and fried eggs. I know – so much fried food. It’s still so delicious! Served alongside mashed green plantains and pickled onions, you have this breakfast once a week as a treat.
Whenever I’m home at my parents, my mom asks if I have any special requests and this Asopao de Pollo is always the first one. A Dominican take on Italian risotto – without the constant stirring! You can get the recipe for my mom’s Asopao de Pollo here.
Although true sushi connoisseurs might be shocked to see this outrage called “sushi”, it’s one of my favorite things to eat for dinner back home. Typically covered in thinly sliced ripe yellow plantain, it brings a Dominican twist to a Japanese classic.
Being surrounded by water, we have some amazing fresh seafood in the Dominican Republic. While visiting a local restaurant in La Romana called Peperoni, we had this gorgeous lobster dish with a side of sweet plantain rice. The lobster was perfectly cooked! Definitely one of our favorite meals during the last visit.
And to end this post, let’s end it with how most Dominicans end the night: with a chimi. Not to be confused with the Argentinian herb sauce called chimichurri, a Dominican chimi is a style of hamburger with cooked vegetable slaw drenched in a mayo/ketchup sauce. Served in a plastic baggie to catch all the drips, it’s the perfect meal after you’ve had too many drinks.
Hope you enjoyed my post on my favorite Dominican foods and what I miss the most. Be sure to read other posts on Dominican Republic: