Let’s start with the Dominican Republic, national dish. It is almost impossible to go 24 hours without seeing “La Bandera” served somewhere.
You will see it serviced at the table, every restaurant and even in the streets. “La Bandera” meaning The Flag, is a mix of red kidney beans on top of white rice, with the main attraction of a meat and small side. 9 time out of 10 the meat is chicken. As for the side, it’s a simple combination of lettuce and tomatoes or avocado. The first thing you will notice when trying the national dish is the portion size when served. They do not go light. I have commented that a plate full could feed a small family.
Other popular dishes include; Sancocho and Tostones.
Sancocho is a meaty stew only found in the Dominican Republic. Several Latin American countries have sancochos, but they are not all the same. Each of these countries has its own version. Dominican sancocho comes in a deluxe version, in which seven different types of meat from four types of animals are mixed with root vegetables and plantain to produce a very rich, thick, meaty stew, unlike anything you’ve tried before. The simplified version might contain just beef and perhaps chicken.
Tostones, or twice-fried plantains, is another Dominican food we share with several other Latin American countries, but it holds a special place on the Dominican table. Tostones are made from unripe plantains and served as a side dish to meat and fish dishes, or as part of a larger meal.
As a 4north volunteer, we will encourage you to taste everything. After all, it’s part of the adventure. But not to worry, our trips are designed knowing you have a comfort zone when it comes to food. There will be several opportunities to make yourself a simple sandwich, dive into lasagna, build a burger or have a 5 star meal over-looking the beautiful Jarabacoa.