DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Visitors indulge in delectable, exotic flavors when they travel throughout the Dominican Republic (DR), making for a different kind of cultural experience. Christopher Columbus brought a Spanish culinary fare that nestled in with the tastes of the already settled Tainos natives when he discovered the DR in 1492. As the DR grew in population and became the second largest Caribbean nation, the country adopted the influences of African and European cultures and instilled them into their cuisine.
Traditional dishes differ throughout the country as each region is infused with a different culinary element. The Northwest Coast's rugged terrain is perfect for goat grazing and oregano bushes. The northeastern area has vast amounts of coconut palms and abundant fishing, while the central region cultivates vegetable crops and non-tropical produce such as strawberries. Consistent through all regions of the country, however, is that Dominicans prepare their meals with fresh ingredients and don't include hot spices in their traditional recipes.
"So much goes into authentic Dominican meals, from planning what will be served, to the importance of fresh ingredients," said Magaly Toribio, Ministry of Tourism's Vice Minister of International Promotion. "We proudly share our historic traditions and captivating culture with DR visitors, specifically through our mouthwatering produce, much of which is locally and organically grown."
Breakfast normally consists of mangu, a puree made of mashed plantains and a combination of bacon or salami, cheese and fried red onions. The most popular dish in the DR, La Bandera, is served at lunch time with a salad and fried plantains. La Bandera comes in many variations, but generally consists of rice, red beans and a meat such as chicken, beef or goat. Unlike lunch, dinner is a light meal and is frequently a variation of breakfast items such as pumpkin-like squash called auyama.
Sugar and cocoa are two of the DR's main agricultural products, thus it's no wonder desserts in the DR are typically sweet and based on milk and fruit. Majarete, a popular dessert, is a sweet corn pudding mixed with a blend of sweet potatoes. Beverages with meals or alone typically range from local rum or Presidente beer, to ginger and lemon grass teas, fresh fruit smoothies and hot chocolate drinks.
Snacks like quipes, a deep fried bulgur roll from the Middle East similar to an Italian rice ball; empanadas, a meat pie with a variety of fillings; and pastelitos, a puffed pastry with sweet fillings such as chocolate, cream cheese or fruits, are all local favorites.
Made with authentic flavors, ingredients and the pride of Dominican people, there are a range of specialties that can be enjoyed across the county, most certainly a taste for everyone's liking.
The Dominican Republic's first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Rich in history, the DR has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the DR boasts 25+ designer golf courses, upscale resorts, pristine nature, and sophisticated cities and quaint villages filled with warm Dominican people. The DR features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism's official website at: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
SOURCE Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism