Backed by the recent distinction to the capital city of Santo Domingo as Capital of the Gastronomic Culture of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic consolidates its position as an outstanding gastronomic destination at an international level, chosen by travelers who enjoy knowing and experiencing a destination through its flavors. and culinary proposals.
“Dominican gastronomy has been forged throughout history with the influences of different peoples and cultures, which has made it varied and exotic at the same time. It is part of our distinctive cultural wealth and one of our tastiest tourist attractions, increasingly recognized in the world ”, says Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic (MITUR).
From the original Taínos to the Spanish, African, Arab, American and English immigrants, all have contributed to shaping the so-called “Dominican cuisine”. This has also been nourished by the privileged geographical position of the country, surrounded by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, but also crossed by rivers and mountains, which has given rise to versatile ingredients such as banana and coconut. that can be used in dozens of recipes, as well as traditional dishes based on intense flavors of the sea and land.
Here, a guide to the different regions of the country and its exquisite gastronomy:
Santo Domingo: capital of Caribbean flavors
Recently, and for the second consecutive year, Santo Domingo has obtained the title of Capital of Gastronomic Culture of the Caribbean, awarded by the Ibero-American Academy of Gastronomy (AIBG). The recognition has been reflected in a gastronomic lunch held in Madrid, where diners enjoyed a menu designed by the famous chef Esperanza Lithgow consisting of Constanza salad; deconstructed black bean stew; fish with coconut on chenchén in shrimp bisket tide; beef sirloin with mamajuana and, for dessert, molded coconut. Santo Domingo concentrates the best Caribbean flavors and more: travelers will find in its many restaurants Latin, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Japanese specialties, a reflection of the cosmopolitan spirit of the town. For those who prefer vegetarian or vegan food, the offer is wide. Many restaurants, take-out places and even food trucks offer delicious dishes based on products of non-animal origin.
Samaná and Puerto Plata: exquisite flavors of the sea
These coastal destinations are ideal to enjoy the best flavors of the sea. Samaná restaurants pride themselves on serving the most exquisite dishes made from fish, shrimp and shellfish. The star ingredient of the region is coconut, used in both sweet and savory preparations. Visitors will be delighted with coconut fish, the typical dish of the area. Coconetes -a kind of cookie with a very characteristic flavor due to the use of coconut and ginger-, cocadas and sweet potato bread -made with sweet potato, milk, eggs, coconut, raisins and spices- are emblematic desserts. In Puerto Plata, among the most popular dishes are the garlic octopus and the famous yaniqueques, a fried and crunchy dough that is served on the go in restaurants and food stalls on the beach.
Punta Cana: flavors of the world a la carte
As a famous international destination, visited by tourists from all corners of the world, Punta Cana offers the best dishes of international cuisine. The hotel complexes’ elegant restaurants offer buffet-style or à la carte menus prepared by world-renowned chefs. There are resorts that have Dominican restaurants, where you can enjoy the country’s emblematic meals, including sweet dishes such as sweet beans and majarete, a light dessert made from corn on the cob, coconut milk, vanilla and sugar. Punta Cana also has many options for vegetarian and vegan food and is also the ideal destination to enjoy exotic smoothies and juices based on pineapple, papaya and sapote.
La Romana: European flavors with a local twist
In this destination on the east coast of the country, chefs have the great advantage of having one of the main meat production centers in the country and the area where the largest melon farms are located. Smaller restaurants serve the catch of the day and local specialties, such as carne guisada, arroz con frijoles, and tostones. Many Italians and Spaniards have chosen to live in this region and have opened small restaurants for tourists. La Romana is a perfect destination to try the Dominican sponge cake, a soft dough that almost melts in your mouth, filled with pineapple jam and topped with Italian meringue, called suspiro.
Constanza, Montecristi and Jarabacoa: rich flavors of the land
Sancocho, a kind of soup made with different types of meat and food, is an emblematic dish of Dominican cuisine that is widely consumed in Jarabacoa and Constanza. The cool climate of the area is ideal for succulent dishes, such as chicken and rabbit paella. Constanza is a haven for vegetarians for the offer of dishes based on vegetables and fruits that are grown in the area, including carrots, beets, potatoes, broccoli and delicious strawberries. Montecristi, on the north coast, is famous for its fish and shellfish, although the big star is the line goat seasoned with oregano.
With this wide variety of culinary proposals, the Dominican Republic awaits visitors to offer them the experience of the best flavors of the Caribbean region.
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