I couldn’t continue telling my experience without talking about the food and drinks in the Dominican Republic. There is a politics about food here that I will discuss later on. Anyways, the food here is AMAZING, especially the batidas or smoothies. Almost every time my classmates and I go out to eat I order a batida fresa (fruit smoothie). The smoothies in the Dominican Republic are made with fresh fruit, milk or carnation milk which gives the smoothie more of a milkshake or ice cream texture and taste. The same goes with the juices, which are made with fresh fruit and are not processed – which is great for anyone on a diet while abroad. The best part is that the smoothies are very cheap. The most you will pay for a smoothie is 100 pesos, which is equivalent to $2.35 U.S dollars. This is a major difference from the $5 and up smoothies that are in the United States. Since the smoothies are so cheap, every chance that I get I buy a smoothie.
Although food is pretty cheap to us Americans from the States, it is definitely not cheap for those living in the country. I mentioned earlier that I always order a batidas fresa, which is the most expensive smoothie from a zapote, which can me 60 pesos. Fresa is an imported fruit in the Dominican Republic and is not common to buy like a zapotes or mangu, which is grown in the country. For example, a mango is about 5 pesos, which is worth a penny in U.S dollars. In contrast, buying an apple in the DR cost about 50 pesos each and is equivalent to $1.16 U.S dollars. These examples are there to illustrate not only the currency differences, but the disparity between how much a privileged meal may cost.
Nevertheless, the food here is magnificent and there are certain trademark meals and desserts that one should try when visiting Santo Domingo. For example, Monfongo which is a traditional meal mainly prepared with fried plaintains and a mixture of meats. Monfongo is served traditionally in a pilon, which you might see people from the Caribbean used to mash spices in. Another traditional Dominican dessert is tres leche. Tres leche is a delicious cake made of 3 types of milk as the name implies. The tres leche cake is soaked in these three types of milk: evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream. This dessert will melt your taste buds and will make you ask for seconds.