Dominican Republic food is a mix of Spanish influences and those of the native Taino Indians. Columbus claimed and subsequently exploited the island on his first voyage in 1492. Many of those Spanish traits are still present and you will definitely notice a Latin American feel to the island and its cuisine. Seeing the way Spanish dishes like Paella have become truly Dominican dishes is interesting. They are still essentially Spanish, but ingredients and flavors have changed to reflect fresh ingredients available in the average Dominican household.
Their cuisine is not as spicy as you may expect after visiting other islands in the West Indies. The main spices used in Dominican recipes are onions, garlic, coriander and oregano. In fact, much of the livestock on the island graze on wild oregano, which gives Dominican dishes a kind of pre-marinated flavor. What Dominicans tend to eat depends highly on where they live, near the Sea or in the mountains. Regardless, most Dominican meat dishes tend to involve goat meat as the animals are farmed quite heavily on the island. The Dominican Republic does have excellent cattle, but they tend to export the bulk of their prime beef stock. Keep in mind that meat dishes tend to be very well cooked or even stewed in Dominican restaurants, a tradition stemming from lesser availability of refrigeration on the island.
Enjoy our exquisite national dish, called “La Bandera” (the flag) consisting of white rice, stewed beans, stewed beef and a variety of salads. A traditional breakfast would consist of mangú, fried eggs, fried salami, fried cheese and sometimes avocado. In addition, you will savor different kind of tropical fruits as banana, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, passion fruit, avocado and more. Dominicans use to make like a cocktail with several fruits, just delicious; do not lose the opportunity to taste our rich gastronomy.