Culture

Yautia Amarilla

It’s no exaggeration to describe tubers, root vegetables (tubérculos, raíces or víveres in Spanish) as iconic Dominican foods. If they were more photogenic they could easily claim a spot on the Dominican flag (not the edible variety) alongside the other national symbols featured there, if a vacancy were to arise. In standard Spanish, the common name ...

Lime and Lemon (Lima and Limón) in Latin America

English speakers learning Spanish should become familiar with some of the common vocabulary pitfalls, embarazada and embarrassed being one of the most notorious. These are called false friends - the linguistic - not the human variety. Also known as false cognates, they are words that sound similar in both languages but do not have the ...

Shakshuka: Eggs on Tomato Sauce

Shakshuka (eggs on tomato sauce) is one of those dishes that have made so many rounds on the internet that you're likely to have seen it elsewhere. Trying it for the first time, on the other hand, makes you wonder just why you haven't made it before. Such a simple idea, such a great little ...

Rice with Lentils (Mejadra)

The name is Mejadra, a popular dish in the Middle East. And when an Instagram follower made the immediate connection that this Rice with Lentils and Fried Onions looks a lot like our Moro, she figured out exactly why right after trying it I decided I needed to share it with you. The story of ...

Coconut rice pudding brûlée

We humans do not always fit into neat patterns of nationality, ethnicity, tribe or language, so why should our food? Migration, conquest and colonial rule, refugees and population displacement, travel and exploration and modern-day tourism mean that the lines between nationality and gastronomy can be blurred. Dominican gastronomy is the product of all that and more. The ...

Translating Dominican Staples into English

As part of our tireless quest to bring Dominican cooking and traditions to as international an audience as possible, we do face the occasional challenge. The language barrier, for one. Most of our terminology is straightforward enough – arroz is rice, habichuelas are beans, café is coffee, and so forth. But what happens when the food ...

Puntacana 2013 carnival

Like every year since I moved to Puntacana, I have been photographing the carnival, now in its 6th incarnation (we missed the first as we were out of the country). While this parade is not as large as the one in Santo Domingo, its compact size means that we get to see the best troupes in ...

A culinary tour of the Dominican Republic

The occasional visitor could be forgiven for thinking that because the Dominican Republic is a small country we have no regional cuisines. Up to a point, this is not far from the truth, but to any Dominican it is obvious that each region is best known for certain dishes. Follow us in a culinary tour. The northwestern region of the ...

PuntaCana 2012 carnival

Like each year for the last 4 years I spent a March afternoon photographing the PuntaCana carnival and marveling at the ingenuity and creativity of its participants. Beautiful women, fierce masks, dames of questionable gender, people of all ages, colors and several nationalities meet for this impressive parade. While I was making pictures (thanks to the PuntaCana ...

holiday special

You bring the food! Are you looking for traditional Dominican Christmas recipes? Find them in our Holiday Special. We have revised, re-written and added new photos to these recipes to make things much easier for you. During these weeks we will also bring you new dishes that are non-traditional but full of Dominican flavors so you can ...

Dominican men – Can they cook?

Do Dominican men fail the kitchen test, or are they no worse than men from other countries? While I wait for your replies to pour in, let me tell you about my experience. I have been married for 10 years to a divine Dominican man called Pedro. He is absolutely perfect in every way, but - ...

PuntaCana Carnival 2011

Like every year since I live here I grab my camera and go nuts at the carnival. It is an awesomely-fun event to photograph. Every year it gets better, and this year it was no exception. These are some of my favorite pictures. Aunt Clara

7 comidas con nombres graciosos o raros

Brits have their "spotted dicks" and Danes their "burning love" (which frankly sound like the same, er... "socially"-transmitted disease), but Dominicans put up a good fight when it comes to a nation that finds the oddest names for the most delicious dishes. Here we bring you some of them, going from the poetic to the bizarre, ...

sopita

Not long ago I came across a thread in one of our favorite forums* in which people discussed Dominican cooking. A friend of ours commented that most Dominican cooks used seasonings and calditos (bouillon/stock cubes) in their food. Is that really so? As a child from a family of diabetic, hypertensive, picky eaters this was not ...

helpheart

Almost nine and half years ago, I decided that instead of writing down the Dominican recipes some of my friends requested over and over again I'd just put them online, then just send them to my site. I love cooking, but I hate typing (although I am pretty good at it. Typing, that is). All of ...

Why do Dominicans call oranges ‘chinas’?

Oranges are known as 'chinas' in the Dominican Republic because they come from China. Surely not! Everybody knows that oranges come from the Mediterranean. Spain and Israel are famous for their citrus exports with their Seville, Valencia and Jaffa varieties. Morocco is also an important exporter of oranges. But if you scratch the surface and ...

PuntaCana 2010 Carnival

One of the highlights of life here is attending the carnival. A parade with the best of the Dominican carnival takes place the last week of lent and attended by thousands of people. It is an event that should not be missed if one is in the area (and worth a visit if one is ...

Haitian Cooking

Travellers in Africa are said to joke about the culinary advantages and disadvantages of having been colonised by the French, above say, the British. Former French colonies -- Haiti amongst them -- boast fine patisserie and superior bread, the British not having much of a gastronomic legacy to offer its colonies, which remain unimpressed with ...

Twenty One Nations Divided by a Common Language?

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was referring to Great Britain and the United States when he said “Two nations divided by a common language”. Aunt Ilana hazards to extend this to “Twenty-one nations divided by a common language” when it comes to Spanish. When writing about Dominican cooking to an international audience, such as yourselves – ...

why-bananas-called-guineos

The Dominican Republic has its share of unusual names for fruit and vegetables that are unknown in much of the rest of the Spanish-speaking world. We’ve run through a long list of these on several occasions here on Dominican Cooking, and looked in depth at particular examples such as the mystery of oranges being called ...

10 must-try Dominican foods and dishes

"What are the most important Dominican Republic food recipes?" We get this question a lot, so I've decided to write a post about it. But I should start by saying that "important" might not be the right word. Perhaps "popular", or "common" might be better. After all, these 10 dishes are not all we eat - ...

The love of coffee

Dominicans and coffee go together like... well they just go together. It is rare to find a Dominican who doesn't love coffee. There is a special bond between people and one of the country's main export commodities, and it is no coincidence that sugar is an important ingredient in the proper cup of Dominican coffee. ...

Caonabo's Revenge

Every Dominican knows the story of Caonabo, the brave Taino, husband of Anacaona, queen of Jaragua. Upon the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors Anacaona was tricked into extending her hospitality to the newcomers, a decision that she came to regret when she was strangled and her entire village massacred. Caonabo revolted in revenge, but was ...

Fast food fiasco

Santo Domingo has it all, some would say. Drive around the newer parts of the city, and they are all there, those familiar blots on the landscape of every modern city in the world. When I first arrived in the country over eight years ago, there were very few international fast food chains in evidence, ...

Mamajuana

Someone recently inquired whether or not mamajuana was available for export. Mamawhat, you ask? You know, the spiced rum that you may have had straight from the lid of its bottle on the street (oh, was that just me?), or perhaps as an after-dinner liqueur. Spiced with cinnamon, medicinal leaves and herbs - among other ...

Baby and toddler foods, Dominican Republic-style

I weaned my baby son here in the DR, and found that many of the foods found here worked as excellent first foods for him. The requisites - wherever you're coming from - were that they should be palatable, easy to digest, and nutritious. First stage (never before the age of 4 months): purées like Avocado, ...

Making casabe

Casabe -- a crispy flat bread made from cassava (yuca) flour - was at the centre of the Taíno diet. When the Spanish first arrived on the island, they soon found that casabe had advantages over their traditional European bread, in that it does not go stale or mouldy. For this reason, it is said ...

DSC_2767-2

Aquí siempre es a buen tiempo / cuando es hora de comer / porque así nos enseñaron / y lo tenemos por ley / donde comen dos seguro / se pueden sentar tres…* - Catholic Hymn So what is the deal with Buen Provecho and A Buen Tiempo? Both are said at mealtimes, and yet are very ...

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Aunt Clara's Dominican Cooking, besides being a collection of recipes of the Dominican Republic, source of information about our cuisine, dishes, ingredients, and history is also thought as a help for those who want to learn about the Dominican culinary culture. Dominican cuisine is easy and spontaneous. As in any other part of the world, recipes ...