Discover one of the best things about the Dominican Republic: the huge availability of fresh fruits and snacks all around the island, on even the most tucked away roads!
Whether you’re visiting the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, relaxing in one of the hundreds of beach resorts in Punta Cana, or on a mission trip to some of the rural towns on this Caribbean island, I’m sure your travels will bring you by some of the best roadside treats you’ve ever experienced.
The best part of these roadside eats is the fresh fruit you’ll encounter, like the cashew fruit you see above. Notice how each cashew seed is actually on the outside of the fruit – that’s why cashew nuts are so expensive, as they are only one per fruit. Cashew fruit is soft and sweet, a combination of a banana and an apple.
Head north an you’ll fin a variety of stands, mostly run by Dominican children helping their families, selling roasted and raw cashews, as well as roasted sweet potatoes and sweet fruit jams and jellies. Although expensive in the US, cashews in the DR run at about $2.50-$3 dollars a jar, a steal for such great products. Make sure to get a warm roasted sweet potato – an unusual treat but they are roasted atop of local wood and the wood aroma permeates throughout the sweet potato, making for an incredible snack.
When in season, a sweet mango in the Dominican will cost you less than 50 cents and you’ll remember that mango for the rest of your life. Sun kissed and juicy, Dominican mangoes range from hundreds of varieties, like I experienced a few years ago in an Expo Mango. Yes! Dominican Republic has so many mango varieties that they hold their own mango expos and conferences to share with the world!
Of course, you’ll find over tropical fruits (like tamarind seen below, which is so delicious not only in its natural state but when made into juice it’s sublime!), but you can find so much more on the roadsides of the Dominican Republic. Another favorite that I sadly don’t have a photo of is the cornmeal cakes doing towards the east of the island. Tens of cake bakers line the roads and serve up these huge slices of cornmeal cakes called “Arepa” – if you see them, make sure to stop. In conclusion, you’ll never go hungry when traveling in the Dominican Republic, no matter where you are.
This post about the Dominican Republic was written by Marnely Murray who pens Cooking with Books, make sure to check out her blog for delicious recipes & more travel posts!