Plantain is the star in Dominican Republic cuisine. The Caribbean is a paradise for the tropical fruits; juicy pineapples, tasty mangos, enormous papayas, exotic passion fruit, and creamy avocados… But bananas are an indisputable part of their daily diet.
We are talking about the creole kitchen, with a strong european base and nuanced flavors of african origin. Thus we will find in the table spanish, tahinas and african reminiscences; but bananas from Dominican Republic will always be present.
The daily diet of a Dominican Republic family consists, basically, in white rice, stews beans and meat, with greater devotion for chicken and beef. This is usually accompanied with salads and tomatoes.
However, the protagonist of the dominican diet is the banana, which accompany almost any dish and that has receive a thousand and one ways to cooking it to obtain from it any nuance so it can be provided its varied range of flavors.
However, there are two essential formulas that we must try, mangú and tostones. The mangú is preferably taken for breakfast. It is a purée of boiled green bananas eaten with sausages, specially dominican salami and eggs.
Instead, for lunch, the main meal of the day, the banana turns into tostones, rich folds of green or ripe crushed fried banana slices. They even eat them as a snack.
If you are a curious gourmet, it would be great to try the ‘plátanos al caldero’ or ‘pasados por paila’, delicious and sweet, cooked in syrup.
Creative Commons Image: Flickr/Adam Jones, Ph.D.