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Nothing says Christmas like a Dominican Christmas feast!
Christmas is a time for celebrating, and perhaps nowhere on earth is this more true than in the Dominican Republic.
Though citizens of this Caribbean nation are not wealthy, they are rich in Christmas spirit. It is so rich, that they pour their hearts and souls into preparing the most delicious traditional Dominican cuisine, our way of making Christmas time special.
Dominicans are renowned for their tasty seasoning in their traditional day to day dishes, but never underestimate the exquisite buffets prepared for one of the grandest holidays of the year and though you may eat these typical dishes more than once a year you are most positively sure on Christmas day it tastes waaay better!!
So whether you are a tourist having Christmas in this Caribbean Island or a Dominican, here we bring you a list of 10 Dominican foods you are most likely to see at a Dominican Christmas Feast:
1. Roast Pork/Chicken
This is considered as the main dish at any Dominican Christmas dinner. This delicious roasted meat is what takes up most time and dedication on preparation.
2. Pasteles en Hoja
A dish originally from Puerto Rico, Pasteles en Hoja are created by grating yuca or plantains to form a the paste, which is molded into rectangular purse shape and stuffed with meat. They are then tightly wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled. Pasteles are usually served on Christmas and have become a staple in Dominican cuisine, something we love to enjoy on many celebrations!
3. Patties of yucca
A delicious deep-fried envelope of yucca dough filled with different stuffings to suit your taste: meat, chicken, cheese. The meat is often combined with raisins.
4. Russian Salad
A delicious combination of carrots, potato, hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, vinegar, onions, corn and raisins. This side dish accompanies the pork or chicken served at your Christmas or New Year’s dinner.
5. Telera Bread
The ‘telera’ bread has been part of the Dominican Christmas tradition for decades, if not more. As Christmas season approaches, one of the classic gastronomic signs that the season is approaching is the appearance of “telera” on roast pork stalls.
Eggnog, is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs. Spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon are often added. The finished serving is often garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. A Dominican Christmas without ‘ponche’ or eggnog is not considered Christmas at all!
Dominicans have a bit of a sweet tooth, so after the exquisite banquet ‘turrón’ is the solution! Turrón is a type of candy, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake.
8. Dry fruits and nuts
Dry fruits and nuts have become part of the Dominican tradition for this festive season. Usually dishes of different dried fruits and nuts sometimes reffered to as ‘coquitos’ are placed in the living room to keep friends and family munching on some snacks before dinner is served.
9. Apples/ grapes/ pears
Ohh what a combination! These three fruits go hand in hand at any typical Dominican Christmas feast and are used for decorative purposes as well as being served alongside the dry fruits and gummies at the end of the festive dinner.
“Gomitas” are basically any type of jelly candy, and Dominicans love them, especially at this time of year!