2 posts Posts by minu


Dominican Cook Out

what to eat and drink on a paradise island

Owning a piece of Dominican Republic Real Estate not only means taking endless walks on the beach alongside your ocean front condo, sipping on coconut drinks and dancing the night away in a rhythmic Bachata. It also means being immersed into a new and rich gastronomical culture which in many ways reflects the island’s dynamic history, and mix of cultures and elements. The island’s indigenous inhabitants were called Tainos and lived off of sophisticated farming until colonized by the Spanish through Columbus, and blended with African slaves brought in as workforce. The Dominican kitchen will hardly shock your taste buds, no extremely spicy food or unconventional ingredients are to be found here. Instead, in the humble opinion of the undersigned gringa, it is heavy comfort food to sustain a hard days work or an active day of surfing or kiting. Curious yet? Here goes the Infiniti Blu guide to eating a lo Dominicano.

1. Mash it up and Mangu

Like your breakfast hot and heavy? This Dominican breakfast for champions is hardly for the light eater but ideal for brunch or as a post party meal. Green (not ripe) plantains are boiled and mashed while drizzled with olive oil or creamy butter. Accompanied by a range of voluntary side dishes, the most common combination being fried eggs, fried cheese and salami alongside pickled red onions. Dominicans tend to get a dreamy look on their faces when speaking of this simple yet tasty dish. Ask for it in your local corner restaurant or build up the confidence to do it yourself!

2. Patriotic perfection

One of the most common day-to-day dishes in the Dominican household is la Bandera which means flag in Spanish. Although variations are common, the basic combination is always white rice, some sort of bean stew and meat served with a side salad of avocados, onions and tomato. Our personal recommendation is starting off with a chicken based bandera to get acquainted with the flavors and working yourself up to the goat stew. Psst, prepare to fight it out for the best part of the rice which is the golden crust shaped at the bottom of the casserole called concon.

3. Drink like a boss

In a country where its hot most of the time and where a spontaneous party can suddenly erupt at the beach, street corner or even in the gas station to the beat of merengue, bachata or salsa, a local yummy beer is a must. The DR’s pride and joy is conveniently called Presidente and is brewed at the Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana. Although it tastes…well the way beer normally tastes, it is the actual ritual of casually drinking it through its distinctive bottle that the Infiniti Blu team considers infinitely Dominican and thus mandatory during your stay. Widely available in small as well as jumbo bottles in colmados (local Dominican grocery shops), bars and restaurants around the island, this should be your go to drink while on the island.

4. Savory Sancocho

This elaborate and heavy stew is normally prepared on national holidays, for festive events or family gatherings as it is rich in ingredients and takes quite some time to prepare. How about mixing up around seven (yes you heard us) different sorts of meat with some local veggies such as yuca, pumpkin and corn, adding some tasty seasoning and letting all flavors simmer together for hours before serving with rice? We are hardly surprised that the sancocho isn’t usually prepared during the work week as it would probably slow down the already unorthodox island productivity even more. Our best tip is simply to eat it, enjoy it and sleep it off!

5. Tasty tostones

Although more of a side than an actual main course, this crunchy, crusty, golden piece of deliciousness pretty much consists of deep fried plantains with a flattish texture. Can accompany most Dominican dishes as well as eaten as a snack with ketchup and mayo, or instead of your fries with the burger. Probably not the healthiest option in the (cook) book but hey at least you’re eating a vegetable (even though it happens to be drenched with oil)!


Keeping it cool

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OK so you’ve purchased your dream home, an ocean front Caribbean condo from where you hear the waves crashing the shore, see the palm trees swaying in the breeze, and the sunlight flowing through your windows. What you didn’t prepare for however is that owning a Dominican Republic Real Estate exposes you to heat, and lots of it. With an overall dry climate all year around (apart from some tropical rains August to November), the amount of sunny and hot days in the Caribbean surpasses what one may be used to. As you can imagine, hydration is key! We have therefore compiled our own list of things you can eat, drink and do to make sure your body stays cool!

 

  1. Drink Coconut water

Coconuts grow all year around on the island and can be found in abundance on street markets and alongside the road for as cheap as USD 60 cents. Apart from its fresh and tasty flavor (best enjoyed with a straw through a hole in the coconut), it is rich in potassium and low in carbohydrates which makes it ideal for staying hydrated. Sip on one poolside or drink it before an afternoon beach run and it will surely alleviate any potential sunstroke.

 

  1. Keep your meals small

When it comes to eating in a tropical climate, eating small meals often is the way to go. Eating large meals makes your body create more metabolic heat to break down your food. Lucky for you, the Dominican Republic has a wide assortment of yummy and affordable fruits and veggies that can be used for sandwiches, cold soups and salads. Avocados, when in season, are both cheap and easily found, and can be enjoyed plain with some lemon, as a side dish or incorporated in a fresh smoothie. Cucumber and watermelon both contain more than 90% water and are also ideal to endure the tropical sun. How about a crisp watermelon salad in the afternoon shade of your terrace containing watermelon, sliced red onion, feta cheese, fresh mint leaves and some extra virgin olive oil – yum!

 

  1. Under the parasol

Although it is recommendable to stay out of direct sun between noon and 3 PM the Caribbean paradisiacal beaches with their turquoise waters and perfect white sand can be hard to resist. The pride and joy of the charming town of Sosua is the precious Sosua Beach. Offering calmer waters than neighboring Cabarete, this is the beach for a refreshing swim, snorkeling or paddle boarding. Full of beach vendors ready to prepare you a cooling drink or a typical Dominican meal, parasols are plentiful here and recommended. Stay under the shade during the hottest hours and be sure to regularly apply your sunscreen and you should be fine to enjoy the best of what the Caribbean has to offer.

 

  1. Freeze your sheets

Although the AC may be your primary tool to combat the heat indoors, more environmentally friendly options are available as a complement or substitute. We all know a good night’s sleep does not combine well with excessive heat. Unconventional as it may sound, this DIY trick actually works and is a piece of cake. Take out your bed sheets, seal them in a plastic bag so they don’t get wet, put them in the freezer for 30 minutes, take them out, you’re done! Once you creep into bed you will feel as though you’re in the Antarctic rather than the Caribbean.

 

  1. Stay in

Radical as it may sound, it is actually fully fine as an owner of a luxury real estate abroad, to simply stay in at times. Your condo will surely be equipped with a comfy couch, high speed internet and a large TV screen which creates the perfect setting for cuddling up to watch a movie or two, or chilling with a book. Don’t feel too bad about missing outdoor activities and sunshine, the Caribbean night is fresh, cool and inviting with lots of options for entertainment and leisure. Once the sun sets you can also set out to enjoy a drink or two at one of many bars and restaurants around Sosua town. Or you could go barhopping and dancing at one of the countless beach side bars offered in Cabarete.

So there you go, the perfect guide to enjoying the Dominican Republic while staying fresh, cool and hydrated, best of luck!