Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Escape to the Dominican Republic Part 1

In Travel on August 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm

For the past three years I have spent each vacation in the Dominican Republic, the second largest nation in the Caribbean. Many tourists go for the countries’ year round golf courses and all inclusive resorts.  These are among the top attractions, but what keeps me going back for more are the local customs and traditions. The cuisine of the Dominican Republic is similar to other Latin American cuisines, with an amazing Spanish flavor. Breakfast is a savory dish of  eggs and mangu, which is a puree of plantains or taro, accompanied by red onions, sausage, and white cheese.  Lunch usually consists of rice, beans, meat, vegetables, and of course a salad topped with fresh lime and avocado. Are you salivating yet?  And if you are not worried about your diet go for the chicharonnes, fried pork rinds. My personal favorite would have to be Chivo, which is roasted goat.  If you are the daring type, try the amazing street food. I am not talking about street food like the hot dog carts in New York either. One of the best times I had was enjoying some amazing street food with an ice cold Presidente beer.  I was lucky to have friends who are from Santiago to show me around.

If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture, embrace the food. If you aren’t sold on just the food (which I hope you are)  there are numerous cultural activities. One activity I took part in while I was in Santiago is cock fighting. This is an old Dominican tradition and is considered to be a sport. I know some people may think this is cruel and inhumane but these animals get treated better than we do. They get highly pampered including a diet full of rich grains, minerals, and vitamins. These roosters are idolized and prized by their owners. Once the action in the arena starts it is like nothing you have ever seen before. The frenzy from the crowd and high adrenaline rush is all worth it. Bets are also made on the roosters. If you want to place a bet, you simply just shout it out and someone will hear you. The losing cock is usually eaten for dinner and most of the time not more than 15 minutes after it has fought. If you are looking for a lot of noise and commotion and you are lucky enough to have a local take you on this exciting venture then go to a cock fight. You will have some pretty amazing stories to tell your friends.

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