It’s only when traveling in a developing country that one can truly appreciate the variety and quality of food available to us at home. There we find fruits and vegetables of every imaginable kind from countries some of us have never visited or perhaps known existed. It is very different here in DR. There is one well stocked supermarket where good meat and staples like rice and coffee and cleaning supplies are available. There are dozens of small mom and pop markets lining the streets. We shop at one where we can buy unrefrigerated boxed milk, cereal and wine. Eggs are never refrigerated here.
It surprises us that in this lush and fertile country, fresh vegetables are difficult to find. Tomatoes and peppers are plentiful and excellent but no green vegetables. Occasionally we find a few green beans or a head of broccoli but they are limp and tired looking. Iceberg lettuce is available at some of the stands but the heads are tiny and limp.
Bananas are plentiful and everywhere as are pineapples, limes and oranges. Guava and avocado are also sold, in the market, at street stalls and from basins carried on the heads of young women on the beach.
We had some passionfruit juice a few days ago. It led to a discussion, Max insisted it was a blend of juices, I thought it was a distinct fruit. Wikipedia to the rescue. It is the fruit that I kept seeing at the fruit stalls and didn’t recognize. They are light brown, smooth and oval, like an egg, about the size of a lemon, and have a stem at the end. According to Wiki, they are one of the most delicious fruits in the world. Hmmm, I’ll check that out.
The thing about food here that impresses us the most, whether we are eating at a tiny local cantina, a beach shack or one of the more upscale restaurants. The food is always excellent. Fish is a few hours out of the water, meat well cooked and everything delicious. Meals always come with a simple salad (iceberg lettuce and tomatoes) and french fries, or home fries or rice. I’m convinced that the reason everything is so good is that it is freshly prepared for every meal. We aren’t being served mass produced meals or pre-frozen fries. We don’t mind that it takes a bit longer to prepare, we sit with our feet in the sand and watch the waves and the boats and people walking the beach.