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 used for tubers in the DR, víveres, actually means the basic foodstuffs that are needed for survival. This gives us some idea of the importance of tubers for Dominicans. It also reminds me of the way the word for bread in Egyptian Arabic, aish, means life.
There’s always a story behind each of our recipes. Sometimes the story starts with us, sometimes it starts with you.
One of our readers asked for “a creamy chicken soup”. Later she reminded me about that chicken soup. What I didn’t tell her is that I was working on that “creamy chicken soup”, but it takes time to test a recipe, and then re-test it. Not that I heard any complaints. Finally, I got something that had the husband asking for seconds, and reheating the leftovers the next day.
Living in a tropical paradise certainly has its perks, and while right now some of our readers in the East Coast are complaining of their never-ending winter this year, I would be very careful not to brag too loudly, soon it will be summer here and I will be complaining every bit as loudly as they are.
You notice how the temperature changes where I live just by seeing what recipes I post each week. This is a good week for a cool drink, and since I love my cocoa in the morning, this creamy spiced cocoa is jut the way to go.
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 same meaning.
When it comes to food a few more come to mind: Tuna is a prickly pear in Spanish, while tuna fish is atún – although some now call it tuna in Spanish too. Cola is a tail, not a carbonated drink. An abogado is a lawyer, not an avocado. Meringue is suspiro, not merengue, the Dominican national dance.
A pair of false friends with a particularly complicated relationship is lemon and lime. You’d think that lemon would be called limón and lime would be lima, but it’s not that simple.
I may not be Miss Cleo, but I know what you thought when you saw these Ripe Plantain Boats (Canoas) with Eggplants: 1) “That looks fine!”, and 2) “That’s not how you make Canoas!”.
Yeah, you’re right. Canoas — a Puerto Rican dish — is typically stuffed with minced beef, and the plantains are fried, which both give it a nice golden color, and also add quite a few more calories. There’s always a cloud for every silver lining.
The good news is that this version is very good. It will make your stomach and your waist equally happy.