Food and Recipes


I’m sure it comes to no surprise to anyone that processed meats like hot dogs, spam, and salami are not exactly what you should be calling health food! Still, most of us would assume (perhaps incorrectly) that certain standards have been met so that the “meat” does reach some sort of a reasonable quality.

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot in the news about the low protein percentage as well as the fecal matter that was found in salami that has been sold in the Dominican Republic. So to address this problem instead of requiring that the meat processors meet the standards the Standards and Quality Systems Agency’s (Digenor) Technical Committee took a more novel approach, officially lower the standards of the salami so that it can now be sold as meeting the official standards.

As reported in Dominican Today, the standards for the required protein content of Dominican Salami have been lowered substantially.

New Dominican Republic Salami Standards

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Dominican Fruit Stand

Dominican Fruit Stand

It’s coming up on avocado (aguacate) season in the Dominican Republic again. While you can pick up avocados pretty much throughout the year here the prices drop considerably as they start coming into season. The avocados in the picture below were purchased at one of our local fruit stands for 10 pesos each. If you live near one of the larger markets or near where growers personally drop them off at the fruit stands you can usually get them a little cheaper.

While avocado is used for many recipes, the most common way you see avocado served here is sliced up and served next to other items. I rarely see guacamole served here (at least in the Dominican restaurants I have visited),

We have found the Dominican avocado to be more flavorful then the avocados we ate in California which were usually of the Hass verity. During avocado season we usually eat avocado almost daily. (more…)

Seems to be a bad day for the meet industry today. Two ongoing wars seem to be happening. The first is about the prices of chicken in the Dominican Republic and the second is it is rumored that that some of the salami here may be unhealthy (gasp!) (more…)

Mamey Sapote Smoothy

Mamey Sapote Smoothy

Mamey Sapote (Zapote) Smoothy recipe:

The Mamey Sapote is indiginous to Mexico, South and Central America, The Carribean, and Southern Florida,USA. It looks like a small football, but when you open it up, it has a beautiful dark brown shiny seed, and reddish-orange flesh. In the Dominican Republic you will usually see the fruit with the spelling of Zapote

When my neighbor gave me one, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to eat it.I remembered not liking the flavor much the first time that I tried it. With my tastebuds, it tasted a little like a mixture between cooked carrots and sweet potato and resembles the texture also. I almost gave it to a friend, BUT WAIT…

It occured to me that just about any fruit tastes most delicous as a smoothy. Lets try it!

You will need:
1 mamey sapote
milk to taste
sugar to taste
1 tbsp vanilla (I prefer white)
1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon (adjust to taste)
1/2 a blender of ice cubes

Instructions

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Dominican Hot Chocolate

Dominican Hot Chocolate

I was visiting a friend who was about to have a gathering of about 20 people at her house. What would we have for la cena (dinner)? With a limited budget and a few mouths to feed, she decided on Dominican hot chocolate and bread.

Normally I believe this would be something that would be eaten for breakfast here, but it worked out just fine for our gathering of fun and games and a little something yummy.

I watched intently to see how this chocolate was to be made. I had in mind that it would taste like Mexican hot chocolate, which is a little more bitter tasting and not much to my liking, but this chocolate was MUCH different, and most delicious!

This hot chocolate will fill the air with the warm aromas of cinnamon and cloves and of course, chocolate.

You can also try adding it to your coffee for a wonderful mocha! (more…)

It’s Mango Season!

We’re starting to see mangos at the fruit stands again. There are several varieties that can be found in the Dominican Republic. I pretty much like them all but in particular there are some larger ones that often are sold by the pound that are my favorite. These can be easily sliced like filets so you don’t get the strings stuck in your teeth.

Bani Mango Fair

The town of Mani (the proclaimed Mango Capital) has a Mango Fair and Expo going on this weekend. The video displayed is in Spanish but gives you a little bit of an idea what to expect at this years mango fair. (more…)

Boruga de Leche Sounds exotic doesn’t it!

My son and I were given a new taste treat today. On our way home with a Dominican friend we stopped by a store on the side of the road and he bought us one of his favorite “juices” – Boruga de Leche.

To give you a hint Leche means milk. We brought a bit back for my wife and younger son to try. The vote. My wife – a pretty resounding never again. My older son and I gave it a middle of the ground, not bad and might buy it again, My youngest son said the taste was fine but the texture (kind of a slimy, lumpy drink), didn’t quite do it for him.

So, what is Boruga de Leche? (more…)

I would guess for most people who move to a new area, especially to a new country like the DR where not everything we are used to is available, there are some of our favorite foods that we really miss.

One day I was thinking about what would make my day complete… I know it may sound silly to you, but the thing that would definitely do the trick… GREEN CHILIS! You know the kind from the can. Chopped green chilis in my breakfast frittata, green chili casserole, white enchiladas (one of my favorites).

Well, I just don’t know why it took 2 1/2 long years to figure it out, and needless to say, I was ecstatic to find they were under my nose the whole time and using them practically everyday! (more…)

The Carambola or star fruit as it is known in the states is a sour fruit that personally I like quite a bit. I found that if you take a Carambola fruit and put either salt or season salt on it, the flavor is enhanced and it tastes even better. It can be found at one place that I know of but there are more that you can find I’m sure. Surprisingly enough this is found close by to the gold mine near Cotui, an hour and a half or so from our local Fantino area.

I found that the best way to eat a caranbola is to salt one of the five edges and take a big bite out of the salted area, then re-salt it and again take a big bite out of it. As you are eating this, I would say that there is more acidity than a lemon or lime. Pretty sour! (more…)

Dominican Tostonis


By Tim
Tostonis are the Dominican equivalent to French fries. That is not to say you can’t find French fries here. I know there are some of you who would never dream of coming to country where you can’t get French fries. You can rest assured that you can find French fries here.

But, more commonly you will find tostonis come with the plate of the day instead of French fries. That may sound strange seeing  tostonis are made from a relative of the banana, the plantain, but they are actually pretty good. They are not quite the same as a French fry, more like a combination of a French fry and a potato chip.

Tostonis are actually pretty simple to make, the biggest thing you need to worry about is the source material. Being that the plantain is a close relative of the banana, you need to be careful as to how you choose your plantain. (more…)

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