Something to be careful of if you buy peanut butter here in the Dominican Republic. the US Food and Drug administration has announced a recall on peanut butter sold here in the Dominican Republic under several brands. There have been four reported cases of salmonella linked to Peanut Butter produced by nSpired Natural Foods Inc.

nSpired Natural foods markets and sell peanut butter under the following labels Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters, MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters sold under the Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway brands. 

While likely if you are buying peanut butter from the larger market like La Sirena, Nacional, Jumbo and other larger supermarkets the affected product (more…)

Chocolate beans

Chocolate beans

Chocolate – the food of Kings!

Chocolate is an extremely versatile food that is used in drinks, deserts, candy and often as a main course. Cocoa or in Spanish Cacao is grown in parts of central and south America as well as in the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic. Because I now live in the Dominican Republic I will be focusing on the variety grown here.

Organically grown Cacao can found throughout the island. And several times a year you will find the beans drying in the sun on the side of the road. Walking through the country side it is not uncommon to see the yellow, red or brown pods hanging from trees. So, how much do you know about the cocoa bean?

Dominican Hot Chocolate

Home-made Hot Chocolate Recipe

Chocolate is often bought in bars or cubes with very little processing. It’s even possible to buy chocolate where nothing else has been added. This is frequently the base for the Dominican Republics Unique Hot Chocolate.

Usually when people make hot chocolate here it is for a group. A large pot is used and all the ingredients are simmered over an open fire or a stove. Unlike the normal hot chocolate of the US where you just add some processed powder into some hot milk, hot chocolate here is made from scratch starting with pressed cacao bars. (more…)

The Dominican Health Ministry has has the Dominican shipping company Casa Chepe SRL recall 14,000 metric tons of sugar that had been inported and distributed in the Dominican Republic since July 2012. The sugar has been found to contain various impurities including sand and cellulos fibers.

The contaminated sugar was imported from Brazil under the brand Canaria and is not considered safe for consumption. (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…)

The Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo has a new American Food Restaurant. Denny’s is one of the largest family restaurant chains in the United States and at least one can be found in most of the larger towns in California.

Denny’s is working with one of the more experienced hotel franchise groups, the same one that has brought the Holiday Inn and Intercontinental Hotel into Santo Domingo. The new restaurant location was officially opened on June 26 2012 in the food court of the the Las Americas (Santo Domingo) Airport making it the first airport location worldwide. (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…)

Once again Cholera is spreading on the island of Hispaniola. This time we are seeing more in the Dominican Republic. Depending on the report you read there have been either 15 or 23 deaths due to the disease. While this probably still isn’t a sufficient reason to avoid coming to the DR it’s good to review the precautions you should take.

There are several main areas that you should be cautious about; the water, fresh fruit and vegetables food from street venders, food from other restaurants, food from resort restaurants. While you can never be guaranteed to never have a problem, being careful will greatly reduce the chances of you having problems. If though you find you are having heavy diarrhea or vomiting when you are visiting any country it is good to get yourself checked out quickly, waiting can make it take longer to clear up.

If you do think you got something (stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting) try finding a private clinic or hospital. (more…)

Dominican Arepitas

dominican arepitas

If you going learn how to cook Dominican style, arepitas are a recipe you can’t go without. They are usually not eaten as commonly as rice and beans, but they are definitely essential to the Dominican diet.

Dominican Arepitas – You will be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t like these little deep fried yucca balls. And as long as you are pay attention they are pretty hard to mess up.

(more…)

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