The Dominican Republic is a central nature’s paradise that offers a wide variety of colorful fruits throughout the year. From the smooth and sucking texture of the tropical cactus called ‘pitahaya’ to the powerful and tangy taste of the citrus ‘limoncillo,’ there’s a fruit for everyone’s palate.
Aside from being a beautiful place to visit, the Dominican Republic is known for its cultivation of some of the sweetest and exotic fruits that you may want to try. They’re typically low in fats and useful for a healthy system. Some are even medicinal and can help with diabetes, such as the subtropical fruit called ‘cocoloba.’
The republic’s staple drinks such as the ‘almíbar’ which is a five-day old milkshake, or the ‘vinagrillo,’ an alcoholic cocoa, call for taking your taste buds away. But if you’re looking for a healthier option, try the black and white ‘dragon’ fruit, also commonly called ‘pitaya.’ It’s a source of carbohydrates and is known to improve your digestive system.
One fruit that everyone should taste when in the Dominican Republic is the ‘date palm.’ It has a tremendous amount of honey, and it’s typically used in salads or drinks. Another fruit to try is the ‘mandarina,’ also called ‘tangerine.’ This fruit is beautiful, thin, and has a pleasant taste that’ll leave you wanting more.
One fruit that’s inedible but has a scientific growth is the ‘sugarcane.’ It’s a football-shaped plant with a juicy inside that you chew on to extract its sweet liquid and discard the fibers. Finally, the ‘limoncillo’ fruit is a citrus fruit with a sweet and tangy taste. It’s commonly eaten as a healthy snack or used to make a refreshing drink.
The Importance of Trying Exotic Fruits
Exotic fruits can provide a unique and flavorful experience to your taste buds. Unlike the usual fruits like apples (manzana) and citrus fruits (mandarinas), exotic fruits offer a range of flavors and textures that are not typically found in everyday meals. Exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic, such as mangos, chinola, mamoncillo, guayaba, arrayán, pitahaya, lechoza, and grapefruits, offer a powerful punch of vitamins, creating a wholesome and nutritious addition to your diet.
Trying exotic fruits is especially important when traveling to a new country. Whether you’re in the central areas or on the outskirts of the country, the array of fruits available presents a unique opportunity for you to experience the local culture and cuisine. These fruits can range from having a chocolate smell (mangos), giving off a grassy aroma (mamoncillo), or having a somewhat creamy and dense flesh (lechoza).
The unique flavors and textures of exotic fruits also mean that they can be used in a variety of ways when it comes to cooking. Fruits like the chinola can be used to create a juice or beverage, while fruit-bearing vines like the pitahaya can be opened and the flesh sucked or eaten as a snack. The variety of fruits available can be used as a feature in cakes or simply enjoyed for breakfast.
Exotic fruits also provide a source of natural sweetness in meals, reducing the need for added sugar. In addition to their delicious taste, many exotic fruits also offer powerful health benefits such as high antioxidant levels (averrhoa fruit), high fiber (plums), or high acidity (grapefruits).
The next time you visit the Dominican Republic, make sure to try the array of exotic fruits available. Immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine by trying something new every day. With the length of time it takes to sample all of the fruits, lasting hours to even a month, you’ll realize that the most simple fruit can create a whole new experience.
The Variety of Exotic Fruits in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is undoubtedly a place for fruit lovers. With its tropical climate, the country is home to a vast number of delicious and exotic fruits, many of which you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re a fan of sweet, tangy, or citrusy flavors, the DR has something for everyone.
One of the tastiest spots for enjoying these fruits is at one of the many street vendors located throughout the country. These spots offer fresh, locally harvested fruits that smell and taste incredibly wholesome. Mangoes, pineapples, guavas, cocoloba, ananas, and mombin are just a few of the must-try fruits that will absolutely refresh you during your time here.
Another highly recommended way to enjoy these fruits is by making drinks using the local ingredients. Guarapo, which is made from the juice of sugar cane, is the perfect refreshment during hot days. It helps you stay hydrated and provides essential magnesium and calcium that your body will love. Other delicious drinks include orange juice, which is served with ice, and leche de caña, a drink made from boiled and blended sugar cane, chopped grass, and milk.
And let’s not forget about the manzana and the mamoncillo, two fruits that are widely loved by locals. The manzana, or “little apple,” is white on the inside, while the mamoncillo, or “little sucker,” has a green outer skin and a sweet, tangy flesh on the inside. Both fruits are ideal for slicing, serving on a table, and creating marinades for meat dishes.
The harvesting season for fruits in the DR starts in July and runs through to November. During this time, the nature is full of life, and the air is filled with the smell of honey and other wonderful scents. It’s the perfect time to try dried fruits, especially the second run of pumpkin, which is incredibly useful for making wholesome snacks for yourself or as gifts for friends.
- If you’re a football fan, you’ll want to call in at one of the street vendor spots to enjoy the fun while enjoying some of the tastiest fruits the DR has to offer.
- Meanwhile, if you enjoy bird-watching, the country has some of the most stunning spots for catching a glimpse of nature’s flying wonders.
So, thanks to this wide range of fruits, drinks, and spots, the DR is an absolute heaven for fruit lovers!
Mangoes are one of the most recognizable and highly loved fruits in the Dominican Republic. This wonderful fruit quickly became a staple on the island, due to its hardy growth and attractive flavors.
Read the most complete information in the article on Dominican mango!
When buying mangoes, look for those that are slightly soft to the touch and have a pleasant aroma. Once you’ve selected your mango, be sure to peel and slice it aside to either eat right away or save for later.
In addition to being a tasty treat, mangoes are also highly healthy. They contain various vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C, which can help with cardiovascular health.
If you’re a fan of exotic fruits, then you’ll also love the passionfruit, limoncillo, and pitahaya. Each of these fruits features vibrant colors and unique flavors.
When consuming any of these fruits, be sure to discard the pit or seeds, as they can be hard or unpleasant to eat.
You can also try manzana, which is a type of pumpkin. This flavorful fruit comes in various sizes and is often used in cooking.
For those who love citrus flavors, be sure to try either leche or agria oranges. These fruits are the tastiest when they reach full ripeness and have a slightly soft texture.
The second largest country in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is home to a wide range of fruity ingredients. Some other names you may recognize include pears, pepper, and football powder.
- Mangoes are a highly recognizable and attractive fruit.
- This fruit is hardy and grows quickly on the island.
- When buying mangoes, look for those that are slightly soft to the touch and have a pleasant aroma.
- Mangoes contain vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C, which can help with cardiovascular health.
- Other fruits to try in the Dominican Republic include passionfruit, limoncillo, and pitahaya.
- Manzana, a type of pumpkin, is often used in cooking and comes in various sizes.
- For citrus lovers, be sure to try either leche or agria oranges.
- The country is home to various other fruity ingredients, such as pears, pepper, and football powder.
Papayas are one of the most familiar and pleasant exotic fruits found on the island. They appear in green and yellowish-green skins, and with just a few years of being cultivated, they can grow up to 30 feet in height. Their trunk is a component that typically features greenish, cactus-like skin with negligible amounts of fibers.
When it comes to the inside of the fruit, you’ll find plenty of seeds that you can discard. The fruit’s push is a typical yellow-orange with a soft, saturated texture that can enhance everyones’ experience. Papayas provide a substantial amount of Vitamin C, even more than lemons, limoncillo or cherries.
If you want to create a milkshake or a beverage, you can mix dulce de leche with papayas – this is considered one of the tastiest drinks on the island. A scoop of papaya can also soften and enhance various marinades for foods like sugarcane or acerola.
The ones who want to reply to digestive disorders will find the fruit to be a great source of nutrition, and those who are on a diet will find that papayas can better their immune systems with every bite. Organize your thoughts around the papayas, and you will be surprised at just how many health benefits the fruit has to offer!
Pineapples are one of the most common and popular tropical fruits found in the Dominican Republic. They grow in many areas of the country and come in many variations, each with its own unique textures and flavors. The most common variety is the Spanish-speaking locals’ “Piña,” which is sold year-round. Pineapples are rich in carbohydrates, magnesium, and other healthy elements, making them a powerful addition to any diet. They’re also somewhat low in calories, making them an excellent choice for anyone trying to watch their weight or manage diabetes and other disorders.
If you want to experience the best pineapples in the Dominican Republic, head to the sunny city of Baní, where you’ll find the largest amounts of these juicy fruits. Eating a ripe pineapple in the morning as breakfast can be one of the tastiest things you could ever do. Pineapples are often eaten raw, sliced and diced into salads, batidas, or smoothies, grilled, skewered, marinated, or added to cakes and other foods.
The “Dulce” pineapple variety is the sweetest and most flavorful pineapple that you can find in the country, and it is mostly eaten with nuts, after pickling, or for egg dishes. The Mombin Pineapple is another favorite among locals who use it for eating, making juice, or as a marinade, and it is reminiscent of a somewhat dense and soft cactus fruit.
Another edible fruit with a somewhat pumpkin-like flavor is the Granadillo, also known as the Averrhoa, which is common in February and used only for eating.
If you’re in the Dominican Republic, be sure to scoop up as much pineapple and other exotic fruits, such as jobos, coco, linda, and melons, as you can find or carry – you’re in for the healthy experience of a lifetime.
Guavas are a fruit that is widely cultivated in the Dominican Republic due to its mild and pleasant taste. The scientific name for guavas is Psidium guajava, and they are part of the myrtle family. Guavas are even mentioned in an American football chant, “Pass me the guava, center!” Guavas are often consumed in their raw form, but they can also be used in foods such as muffins, as well as giving their flavor to “almíbar” (a syrup typically made with fruit).
This subtropical fruit is called “guayaba” in Spanish and is known for its slight sourness and the scent it delivers. The texture of guavas can vary, but most lovers of this fruit will share that it has a dense water measure, which is quite satisfying to consume. Guavas have seeds in the center of each fruit, but these are typically negligible and do not affect the consumption whatsoever. Some people even cultivate tiny guavas, called “arrayán,” which feature black seeds, but their content is best for a single person to enjoy.
While there are many types of guavas grown in the Dominican Republic, the most commonly known are the ones derived from white guavas. These guavas are green when they are not ripe and are suitable for consumption when the center of the fruit is slightly soft to the touch. The fruit can be thoroughly washed before eating but doesn’t have to if it’s responsible. The best way to consume guava is by slicing it into thin slices and enjoying it slowly.
Passion Fruit: A Wholesome and Delicious Fruit from the Dominican Republic
Passion fruit, locally known as maracuya or parcha, is a common and highly consumed fruit in the Dominican Republic. This fruit is a good source of nutrition and is negligible in calories, making it an ideal food to add variety to your diet without adding to your waistline. Passion fruit is small in size, with a diameter of about 2-3 inches, and has a hard outer shell that ranges from green to purple, depending on the variety.
There are different varieties of passion fruit grown in the Dominican Republic, with the most common being the “Linda” variety. The fruit has a high water content, making it ideal for use in salads, cocktails, or as a healthy snack. It also has varying levels of sweetness, with some variations being much sweeter than others. Some people prefer to use the fruit when it’s already a little wrinkled and soft, while others prefer it when it’s still firm.
Passion fruit brings a unique flavor to any dish it’s added to, whether it’s a simple fruit salad or a smooth and creamy dessert. The fruit is also believed to have medicinal properties, with some studies indicating that it may help to prevent certain disorders such as heart disease and stroke.
The cultivation of passion fruit in the Dominican Republic runs from October to May, with the zone of “El Valle” being the largest responsible for its production. Passion fruit cultivation is slowly becoming related to grass cultivation in the country.
Passion fruit can be enjoyed freshly cut or added to various recipes. It can be used to enhance the flavor of other fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and starfruit. It also pairs well with cashew fruit, mamoncillo, and piña.
If you cannot find fresh passion fruit in your area, you can also buy frozen or canned ones. The nutritional value of passion fruit may vary considerably depending on the variety and how it is consumed, but the nutrient content is still tremendous. Consuming passion fruit can give you a satisfyingly healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.
In conclusion, passion fruit is a wholesome, delicious, and common fruit in the Dominican Republic that you should try when you visit the country. No guide to exotic fruits in the country is complete without mentioning passion fruit.
Avocados are one of the most recognized and consumed fruits in the Dominican Republic. They are available almost all year round, but the biggest harvest starts in July. The beautiful and sunny Caribbean weather contributes to producing the most colorful and tasty avocados with smooth skins and negligible acidity. Avocados are famous for their regular content of healthy fats that can bring many benefits to our health, like reducing the risk of heart disease and improving the immune system.
In addition to consuming avocados as a regular snack or serving them as a side dish to many Dominican meals, some cooks take advantage of the fruit’s properties to make cakes, bread, and even a delicious almond-like paste called almíbar.
The aguacate (as avocados are called in Spanish) is also highly recognized for the powerful combination of flavors that it brings to many dishes. Therefore, it is a regular ingredient in Dominican cuisine, especially in central markets, where you can always find different varieties of avocados.
- Some of the most common types of avocados you can find in the Dominican Republic include:
- Ananas (pineapple avocado)
- Morinda (avocado with honey-like pulp)
- Sapote (avocado with hardy outer skin)
- Noni (avocado with medicinal properties)
Aside from being well known for their culinary use, avocados are also highly appreciated for their numerous health benefits. They are low in sodium, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins C, K, and B6. These properties make them an excellent addition to any balanced diet.
When harvesting avocados, it is important to remember that the fruit needs a few hours in the sun to ripen properly. It is best to wait until the skin turns dark green and yields slightly before consuming.
Whether you like to eat avocados as a snack, serve them with your meals, or incorporate them into your cooking, this delicious fruit is an absolute must-try when visiting the Dominican Republic.
Coconut: A Versatile and Nutritious Fruit
The coconut is one of the most attractive fruit trees in the Dominican Republic. Known by many names such as “cocoloba” or “palma real,” coconuts sell very well because of their tremendous benefits and simple cutting techniques. If you enjoy the scent of coconut, you will love its fruity and alcoholic combination.
To organize a good dish with coconut, you need to open it. When doing so, you will see the yellowish-green grass, which is technically known as the “fibers” of the fruit. These fibers are intertwined, making it dense, with some fats and carbohydrates.
The biggest benefit of the fruit is its high calcium content. You can suck or chew on these fibers to get experience every time you sink your teeth into them. The coconut is a staple in many Dominican households, making it a must-try when visiting the country.
Coconut trees are nature’s gift to the tropics. They grow best in the zone from January to April, and their ripen fruit is all around. Some other fruits such as granadillo, tamarindo, and black berry make an excellent combination with coconut.
The coconut fruit has been famous for years because of its many vitamins and minerals. The fruit’s system delivers a wide variety of vitamins, making it a good option for health lovers. When ripe, the coconut is eaten raw or cooked, and its attractive and colorful exterior is a sight to behold!
- If you want to benefit from this superfruit, you can squeeze the coconut milk and use it as a base for your dishes.
- Coconuts are also used to make alcoholic beverages, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
- The fruit has a complex texture that satisfies your taste buds, making it a top contender in the exotic fruit market.
Overall, the coconut is a fruity masterpiece that you should not miss when visiting the Dominican Republic. Its content and benefits are tremendous, making it a better food choice for everyone. So step out, try some, and experience the difference!
Soursop: A Nutty and Mild Exotic Fruit from the Dominican Republic
Soursop, also known as guanábana, is one of the tastiest and hardy exotic fruits you can find in the Dominican Republic. Aside from bananas, cherimoya, vinagrillo, and starfruit, soursop is one of the staple fruits grown and enjoyed in the south of the country.
The fruit has a heart-shaped appearance and a waxy, green skin with a sharp, vinegary scent. When sliced open, you’ll find a creamy texture with tiny, black seeds. The fruit is easy to serve and eat, as you can simply slice it and suck the flesh off the seeds or remove the seeds entirely to enjoy the smooth fruit puree.
The taste of soursop is generally mild and nutty, with a sweet and tangy flavor that delivers a relative amount of sweetness. It is derived from a couple of key ingredients, mainly magnesium, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids. Soursop can be enjoyed on its own, in drinks, or in dishes where it adds a pleasant, creamy taste and texture.
If you’re a fan of milk-based dishes like cakes or cream, soursop is the fruit to bring. Its unique flavor profile can add a special kick to your regular recipes and give them a new twist. Moreover, the soursop fruit has also been shown to have medicinal properties, aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system.
Aside from its taste and health benefits, soursop is also relatively hardy and easy to harvest. Its fruiting tree produces a considerable amount of produce that can be enjoyed thoroughly. If you’re looking to try more exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic, soursop is a must-try!
- Soursop is milky and creamy – perfect for milk-based dishes.
- The fruit can be enjoyed in drinks or eaten on its own.
- Soursop is hardy and easy to harvest.
- It has a unique taste profile that adds a special kick to any recipe.
Noni fruit, also known as Morinda citrifolia, is an unusual fruit that is typically found in the tropics. In the Dominican Republic, it is mainly enjoyed from October to February and can be found in sizes ranging from tiny ones that fit in the hand to huge ones that resemble footballs.
The fruit is yellowish-green and has a bumpy skin that turns white when it’s ripe. Despite its size, noni fruit is not typically eaten raw because it has a slightly sour taste and an unpleasant scent. Instead, the fruit is served in desserts, cakes, and marinades or used to make juices. It’s also known for its powerful nutritional elements, which are believed to help lower cholesterol and boost the immune system.
Noni fruit is packed with wholesome fibers and has a low fat content, making it a particularly healthy fruit to consume. It contains a lot of iron, which is essential for maintaining a healthy blood system. The fruit is also known to have a scent that differs from other fruits in the same family, such as mangos or guanabanas.
In fact, some people describe its scent as ‘exaggeration’ and say that it smells like a combination of grapefruits, watermelons, and plums. Although noni fruit is not popular among Spanish-speaking countries, it is widely known in the South Pacific regions, where it is also used in creating alcoholic drinks.
To consume noni fruit, it is recommended that the skin is removed before squeezing the flesh or sucking it out by hand. The regular size for noni fruit is about the diameter of a potato. The tree on which noni fruit grows is colorful and often attracts birds that come to eat its tiny yellow flowers.
All in all, noni fruit is an unusual but highly nutritious fruit that shouldn’t be missed when visiting the Dominican Republic. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Starfruit is a colorful and exotic fruit that is a staple in the Dominican Republic. It grows on a tree in varying sizes and has a characteristic shape, resembling a star when sliced. The fruit has a pleasantly tart and slightly sweet taste, with a touch of sourness that is similar to green grapes. You can either eat it raw or use it in various dishes such as jams, wines, and sauces.
The starfruit is also useful for people with diabetes because it contains fibers and proteins that help regulate blood sugar levels. It is a relative of the mombin and vinagrillo fruits, both of which also grow in the country. Meanwhile, other popular fruits in the Dominican Republic are mangoes, lechoza, avocados, mandarinas, and maracuya.
In some areas, starfruit is dried and served as a snack, just like chinola. For those who believe in home remedies, the fruit can be used to make a vinagrillo tea, which is said to be helpful in relieving heartburn and indigestion. Also, the guarapo made from the sugar cane’s heart or trunk turns into an alcoholic beverage after fermenting.
Cooks in the Dominican Republic often use the starfruit to add a vinegary kick to dishes. You can also squeeze the juice and use it to season meat and fish dishes. The honey made from the flowers of the starfruit tree is quite familiar to everyone since a lot of households make it at home and show it off in a shell.
Meanwhile, the texture of the starfruit doesn’t turn into mush when cooked, so it’s perfect for adding to stews and curries. It goes well with watermelon in a fresh fruit salad or as a topping for yogurt.
If you’re not familiar with it, the texture can be a bit chewy and its flavor vinegary, but the sourness is what makes these tropical fruits unique and worth trying.
- Color: Yellow or green
- Family: Oxalidaceae
- Scientific name: Averrhoa carambola
- Hair: No
- Dish: Can be eaten raw or used in various dishes
- Heart: Used to make Guarapo
- Availability: Can be found all year round
- Slices: Can be sliced into stars or circles
Where to Find and Buy Exotic Fruits in the Dominican Republic
If you’re in the Dominican Republic, you’re in for a treat. The tropical climate and fertile soil make it an ideal place for growing a wide variety of exotic fruits. Some of the most popular fruits in the Dominican Republic include bananas, mangoes, oranges, lechoza, mandarinas, and grape. But aside from these well-known fruits, there are others that are just as delicious and worth trying.
You can find exotic fruits in many areas of the Dominican Republic, from markets to roadside stands and beaches. The biggest markets are typically found in cities like Santo Domingo and Baní, while smaller markets and stands can be found in rural areas and south the country.
One of the most popular fruits is lechoza. This fruit has a high water content and a creamy texture reminiscent of a cross between a melon and a papaya. You can typically find lechoza in December or February. Another fruit worth trying is maracuya, a type of passion fruit. These are grown all year round and are incredibly refreshing when served cold.
If you’re into berries, try the vinagrillo or Malay apple, a pink fruit that’s sweeter than vinegar and is technically related to the rose family. The fruit itself has a texture similar to a grape, while the flowers from the tree are used to make marinades or discarded.
If you want to try something more tangy, opt for caña. This fruit has a slightly sour taste and is typically served with salt and vinegar. You can also find nuts like pink nuts, which have a flavor similar to almonds, and orange nuts, which have a flavor similar to oranges.
Finally, if you’re looking for a unique twist on a classic refreshment, try a batida with your exotic fruit. This alcoholic cocktail is made by combining freshly squeezed fruit with milk or cream, sugar, and either rum or vodka. The combination of these elements creates a creamy, fruity drink that anyone would enjoy.
- Some exotic fruits to try:
- Pink nuts
- Orange nuts
So next time you’re in the Dominican Republic, don’t be shy about trying something new. You never know what tremendous vitamins and flavors you’ll discover!
Exploring Local Markets in the Dominican Republic
One of the best ways to experience the true flavors of the Dominican Republic is by visiting local markets. These lively zones are bustling with activity, offering a feast for the senses with their array of exotic fruits, vegetables and other ingredients that are a source of pride for the Spanish-speaking country.
When it comes to fruits, there are numerous ones that everyone should try. The acerola cherry, also known as the Barbados cherry, is juicy and healthy. The cherimola, on the other hand, is dense and creamy, while the waxy sapote is sweet and perfect for eating or making jams and almíbar. The guarapo is a popular drink made from sugarcane, while the guavaberry is typically used in pickling or included in delicious drinks.
The Biggest and Tastiest Fruits
Aside from the more familiar fruits like grape, pear, and avocado, some of the biggest and tastiest fruits in the country are those that you may not have heard of, such as the breadfruit and the dragon fruit. The latter is enjoyed for its content of healthy antioxidants and is perfect for adding a tropical touch to any salad.
Ripe for the Picking
Many of these exotic fruits ripen quickly, so it is important to thoroughly enjoy the experience of eating them when you have the chance. Cocoplum is a small fruit that has quickly become famous for its delicious juice, while the pithecellobium or “matasano” comes in both sour and sweet varieties.
Explore the Best Markets
Some of the finest areas to explore for exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic include Higuey and Santo Domingo. Here, you’ll find numerous markets, family-run stands, and farmers’ markets that feature an impressive array of fruits and ingredients that are unique to the region.
- Don’t forget to try the acerola, cherimola, sapote, guarapo, dragon fruit, and guavaberry.
- Be sure to thoroughly enjoy the exotic fruits as many ripen quickly.
- Explore the best markets in Higuey and Santo Domingo.
Visiting local markets in the Dominican Republic is an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves food. It’s the perfect place to discover new ingredients and flavors while simultaneously enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Whether you are looking for healthy juices and snacks or ingredients for a home-cooked meal, the local markets of the Dominican Republic deliver the goods.
One of the most exciting parts of exploring the Dominican Republic is encountering the street vendors. These vendors offer a range of delicious, freshly harvested fruits that vary depending on the season.
From November to January, you can find vendors pushing carts of mamoncillo, a small fruit with a hardy, thin outer layer that bursts with a mild, sweet juice. They also offer passionfruit with a distinct scent and flavor, and ananas, commonly known as pineapples, which are highly sought after for their juicy, tangy flesh.
If you visit between January and April, look for street vendors with breadfruit, which has a texture similar to a potato but a flavor similar to a potato and a small football. Also featured during these months are guanabanas, which are technically a type of fruit but taste like a mix between a pineapple and a strawberry.
When the summer months come around, street vendors run carts featuring freshly squeezed juices made from papayas, oranges, and melons. They also offer piña, which is highly sought after as the main ingredient in many famous Dominican dishes and is known for its sweet and tart flavor.
One of the biggest benefits to seeking out these street vendors is the nutrient content of the fruits they deliver. Many of these fruits are high in iron, which is an essential mineral responsible for creating red blood cells and delivering oxygen to the body. They also contain elements that can help to boost the immune system and even fight cancer.
So whether you’re a fruit lover or just looking for a healthy breakfast option, the street vendors in the Dominican Republic are sure to feature a range of flavors and variations that will have you squeezing them into every meal.
Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
If you’re looking to try a range of exotic fruits during your time in the Dominican Republic, supermarkets and grocery stores are a great place to start. These stores often stock a variety of local and imported fruits, so you can expand your taste buds with something new or stick with familiar favorites.
One local fruit you’re sure to find is the vibrant yellowish-green lechoza, also known as papaya. This satisfying fruit is technically a berry and is commonly consumed as a snack or added to a salad. Its sweet flesh is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and low in calories, making it a fantastic addition to any diet.
If you’re a fan of cherry flavors, you’ll love the guavaberry, a small sour berry famous throughout the Caribbean. Its flavor is derived from a mix of cherries, oranges, and even vinegar. You can consume it in various forms, such as juice, milk, or as a beverage called guarapo.
The coco not to be confused with the coconut, is a smaller, oval fruit that is famous for its hair-like surface and hard stone in the center. This fruit is commonly consumed in the Dominican Republic and is rich in nutrients such as vitamins C and B, calcium, and iron. When it is fully ripe, the flesh is soft and has a sweet, nutty flavor.
Another fruit that ripens throughout the year is the stone fruit, linda or seville pear. This fruit is small in size, and when ripe, it has a yellow-green hue combined with a red blush. Its content is negligible when it comes to calories, but high in fiber and has a unique sweet-sourness taste. Each member of the family will love it either sliced or added to a meal.
November to July is the season for watermelon throughout the country. The delicious fruit is something we all love, and when local, it can be incredibly satisfying. One unusual way locals organize their watermelon consumption is by cutting it into bite-size slices and leaving them to cool in the fridge for a few hours, making them the perfect light snack on a hot day.
- Papayas (lechoza)
- Seville pears (linda)
When you call into these stores, you’ll also likely find a range of imported fruits such as Malay apples, nuts, and cherries. So why not bring a bit of the Dominican Republic back home with you and sample something new?
How to Prepare and Eat Exotic Fruits in the Dominican Republic
If you’re visiting the Dominican Republic, trying the wide range of exotic fruits available is a must-try experience. These fruits are not only delicious but also packed with health benefits, making them an ideal addition to your diet. Here are some tips on how to prepare and enjoy these fruits.
Fruit Stands and Fruteros: In the Dominican Republic, you’ll find numerous fruit stands, locally known as “Fruteros,” where you can purchase freshly harvested fruits. Fruteros typically sell a wide array of fruits, including apples, pears, papayas, coconuts, grape, starfruit, cajuil, agria, and many others.
Preparing Fruits: Most fruits in the Dominican Republic can be eaten freshly cut or juiced. Some fruits require peeling, cutting, or blending; others like coconuts, cocoloba, and sugarcane are hardy and can be opened with a machete. Meanwhile, fruits like papayas, pineapples, and mangoes require carving skills.
Tasting Fruits: The sourness and vinegary scent of some fruit like cherimola, chocolate, and cajuil might be strong at first, but when blended, it produces a creamy texture and a deliciously sweet taste. Some fruits like guayaba and grape have a mild and pepper flavor, while others like zone and agria can be slightly sour but entirely delicious.
Using Fruits: Many fruits in the Dominican Republic are used as source ingredients in traditional Dominican foods and beverages. Pineapples, papayas, and starfruit are often used in freshly blended cocktails, while agria and apple are used in the famous breakfast dish, Mangu. Cajuil and grape are added to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The benefits of consuming these exotic fruits are tremendous. Some of these include an abundance of iron, a range of antioxidants, and useful components for the body. A majority of these fruits can be easily found, even just outside of the city, where you can share these exciting discoveries with others.
So, if you want to enjoy the delicious and healthy benefits of exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic, head to a fruit stand or Frutero, get your hands on some freshly cut or juiced fruits and enjoy the tropical flavors!
Mango is a staple fruit in the Dominican Republic, grown locally and available in abundance from May to September. Its vibrant color and sweet scent bring a summertime feel that can be enjoyed in various forms, including this highly recommended mango sorbet.
To make the sorbet, blend whole peeled mangoes with water, sugar, and lime juice. Freeze the mixture for a few hours, then blend it again to achieve a smooth texture. This sorbet is a tremendous treat to share with friends and family, especially on hot summer days.
While mangoes are the best-known fruit in the Dominican Republic, there are more exotic varieties to discover. For example, have you ever heard of cherimola? This relative to the pear is known locally as fruta dulce, and it brings a mild and attractive flavor to salads, cerezas, and even blended with milk or yogurt for breakfast.
Another medicinal fruit to know when in the Dominican Republic is sapote. Its green, smooth skin covers a white, edible pulp that is mostly used for snack and vinegary products. Meanwhile, when it comes to melon, the agria zone is the place to go to taste the finest watermelons, grown with sugarcane and delivering a second to none sweetness that birds from Seville know very well.
In February, the feisty component of the Dominican fruit arrayán comes to life. This tiny yet flavorful fruit is mostly dried and used as a spice, but when open, it can deliver various health benefits and enhance the taste of muffins and other baked goods.
- Names to remember: mango, cherimola, sapote, melon, arrayán
- Products to try: mango sorbet, fruta dulce salad, watermelon with sugarcane, dried arrayán muffins
Papaya is one of the most recognizable fruits in the Dominican Republic. With its leathery skin and sweet, juicy flesh, it’s become a staple in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Papayas are cultivated throughout the island and can be found in any local market. They are ripe when they feel soft to the touch and their skin has turned a rich golden color.
Papayas are not only a delicious fruity treat, they are also packed with nutrition. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and other powerful antioxidants that help boost the immune system and protect the body against cancer.
One of the best ways to enjoy papayas is by whipping up a fruity papaya smoothie. All you need is a ripe papaya, some honey, and a few other ingredients to give your body a boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
- Peel and seed the papaya.
- Cut the papaya into small pieces and place them in a blender.
- Add a squeeze of fresh mandarina juice for a burst of citrus flavor.
- Add a tablespoon of honey or powdered sugar to sweeten the smoothie.
- Pour in a cup of cold water or milk and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
You can also add other exotic fruits to your papaya smoothie for an even more nutritious treat. Guanabanas, passionfruit, mangos, starfruit, agria, and cashew berry are all commonly found in the Dominican Republic and make excellent smoothie ingredients.
Whether you’re starting your day right with a nutritious smoothie or using papayas in marinades or muffins, this fruta de la República Dominicana is always a good choice. With its vibrant orange color, sweet and juicy flesh, and tropical flavor reminiscent of a Baní zone, papayas are sure to give your taste buds a flavorful explosion and keep your body happy and healthy.
Pineapple is one of the most commonly grown fruits in the Dominican Republic. Its juicy and sweet flesh makes it a perfect snack for everyone, and its recognizable shape and spiky top make it easy to spot in markets and on tables. Many other exotic fruits are also grown on the island, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is grilled.
Grilled pineapple is always a hit. The heat of the grill softens the flesh and turns it into a juicy, sweet, and slightly caramelized treat. Other fruits, like mangoes, bananas, and starfruit, also work well on the grill. They’re sliced and blended with a little of the natural acidity of ingredients like orange, lime, or mandarina to create a pretty and flavorful snack.
Sapote is a tropical fruit that appears in the Dominican Republics from April to July. It has a smooth and creamy flesh that turns from green to saturated brown when it’s ripe. Its properties are similar to those of chocolate, and it’s commonly used in desserts. Noni is another exotic fruit that comes from a tree or a cactus in Central and South America. It has a bitter taste and is known for its health benefits related to the immune system.
Guayaba or chinola are also commonly grown in the Dominican Republic, and they’re two of the most typical tropical fruits consumed in the country. Guayaba has a mild taste and is eaten like a snack, while chinola is a source of distinct juice flavor used in sweets or drinks. Averrhoa is another fruit that’s grown in the DR. It’s commonly known as the starfruit and has a juicy flesh and a unique shape reminding of a star.
The list of exotic fruits grown in the DR could go on for hours, but grilling them is always a good idea. Adding a sprinkle of chili powder or a scoop of coconut cream is one way to add a little extra flavor while enjoying these unique treats.
Guava Paste with Cheese
If you’re a fan of tropical fruits, you may have already tasted the juicy mangoes and melons that nature has to offer in the Dominican Republic. But if you’re looking to try something new, you’ll want to jump on the opportunity to taste the tastiest guava paste with cheese.
Guava paste is made from the fruit of the guava tree, which belongs to the family of Annonaceae. It’s a subtropical fruit that comes in various sizes and colors, from the vibrant yellowish-green of the Caña variety to the deep red of the Agria variety. Guava paste is mildly sweet but has a tremendous smell and taste, making it a favorite among fruit lovers in the Dominican Republic and other Spanish-speaking republics.
To make guava paste with cheese, the fruity paste is blended with cream or milk to create a creamy texture that perfectly complements the cheese. This combination is often used as a filling for pastries, marinades, and desserts.
If you’re wondering about the nutritional content of guava paste with cheese, you’ll be happy to know that it contains a low amount of fats and higher levels of carbohydrates. This makes it a great option for people with disorders related to the intake of fats. Additionally, consuming guava paste with cheese also provides magnesium, one of the essential minerals that your body needs to function correctly.
Guava paste with cheese is typically available in the Dominican Republic in December, after the fruit has ripened during the year. If you’re not in the country during this time and still want to try this delicacy, you can find pre-packaged guava paste and cheese powder to make the blend at home. The process is simple and doesn’t involve any elaborate cooking techniques.
If you’re looking to try other exotic fruits during your visit to the Dominican Republic, be sure to try passionfruit, granadillo, mombin, cocoloba, jatoba, and cherry grapefruits. These fruits are already quite popular in the country and are must-tries for any fruit enthusiast.
- Guava paste with cheese is a delicious combination of fruity paste and cream or milk.
- It’s typically available in the Dominican Republic in December after the fruit has ripened for the year.
- The nutritional content of guava paste with cheese includes low-fat levels and higher carbohydrates and magnesium.
- Other exotic fruits to try in the Dominican Republic include passionfruit, granadillo, mombin, cocoloba, jatoba, and cherry grapefruits.
Passion Fruit Margarita
In recent years, the popularity of passion fruit has grown significantly. This tiny fruit, also known as chinola or maracujá in the Dominican Republic, appears in various forms across the land. It can involve vines, trees, and even shells.
The National fruit of the Dominican Republic, the passionfruit comes in various flavors, from sweeter variations to the more unusual and vinegary agria. Its textures range from the shell and inside to the second biggest crop, the sugarcane, and the largest produce, watermelons. Passionfruit also offers minimal carbohydrates and helps with cholesterol disorders.
At first, the passionfruit might seem a little overwhelming. There are so many variations. However, as soon as you try one, you’ll know which ones you like and which ones you don’t. The passionfruit is incredibly versatile, as it can be eaten fresh, cooked, or blended into a wide array of drinks, including a Passion Fruit Margarita.
To prepare a Passion Fruit Margarita, you’ll need fresh, ripened passionfruit, sugar, lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur. The tanginess of the passionfruit and lime, combined with the sweetness of the sugar and orange, make for a pleasantly fruity and refreshing drink. You can serve it on the rocks or blended, poured into a chilled glass with a little sugar on the rim.
Other exotic fruits that can be grown and enjoyed in the Dominican Republic include bananas, pears, mandarinas, jatoba, arrayán, and linda. These fruits are cultivated all year round and harvested between every 6 months and a year, depending on the fruit type. They are all packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Although the Dominican Republic is well known for its chocolate and potato production, their exotic fruits are also worth exploring. As you explore the tropical paradise of the Dominican Republic, be sure to indulge in some of the nation’s finest fruit, including the beloved passionfruit.
- Passionfruit nutrition content: 17g carbohydrates per 100g, cholesterol-free, helps with cholesterol disorders
- Passionfruit variations: sweeter, vinegar-agria
- Passion Fruit Margarita ingredients: fresh, ripened passionfruit, sugar, lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur
- Other exotic fruits: bananas, pears, mandarinas, jatoba, arrayán, linda
- Exotic fruits nutrition content: Essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Cultivation: grown all year round, harvested between every 6 months and a year depending on the fruit type
Avocado toast is a simple and delicious breakfast dish that has grown in popularity over the years. The star ingredient is, of course, the avocado. The Dominican Republic boasts a variety of avocados, including the popular green-skinned variety, as well as the black-skinned football-shaped “vinagrillo” avocado.
The inside of the avocado contains a soft, nutty flesh with a slightly sweet taste. The proportion of flesh to seeds varies between varieties. The vinagrillo avocado, for example, has a larger pit, but a creamier flesh. They’re mainly used for making guacamole, which is often served as a side dish to local food.
Avocado is packed with proteins, healthy fats and it helps fight diabetes. Its growth between the roadside is numerous. If you’re cutting open an avocado, you’ll notice a pleasant smell. They can be eaten alone or blended into smoothies or juices.
In addition to avocado, the Dominican Republic is home to numerous exotic fruits like baní, melon, grapes, cherimoya, and bananas. Among these, the guavaberry stands out as one of the tastiest and most unusual. The small greenish fruit is reminiscent of a grape but has a leathery skin and powerful smell. It’s often dried and used in local cakes and almíbar (syrup).
The cherimoya, also known as the “custard apple,” is another exotic fruit worth trying. Its flesh is soft and sweet, with a texture similar to that of a melon. Its flavor is slightly reminiscent of a banana, with a touch of vanilla.
A simple treat you could try is “café con leche” with sweet, ripe plantains. The fruteros sell a bunch for just a few pesos.
When it comes to local fruits, it’s hard to go wrong. They’re all good in their way and serve as an excellent addition to your daily diet.
Coconut Water and Coconut Meat
Coconuts are one of the most familiar fruits of Central and South America, and the largest island in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, is not an exception. Here, coconuts are cultivated and grown throughout the island, both in city zones and roadside areas alike. Coconuts provide various benefits, thanks to their meat and water. Coconut water is mildly fruity and pleasant to taste, and is rich in vitamins, fiber, and proteins, while negligible in sodium. Meanwhile, the coconut meat, described as waxy or oily, is rich in fibers, omega, and proteins, and can be instantly consumed, but mostly used in desserts, cakes, or jams.
To consume coconut water, one can simply slice or drill a tiny hole on the shell to measure the water out or drink it straight from the spring. Consuming coconut water is known to help improve hydration, cleanse the urinary tract, and prevent digestive disorders. Meanwhile, coconut meat is mostly used to create dishes like dulce de leche, caña, or vinagrillo, or as a topping for various other fruits like grapes, berries, or the exotic and peculiar “dragon fruit” or “fruta de la Table.”
Coconut water is just one of the various tropical fruits that can be enjoyed in the Dominican Republic. From the sweet and tangy guanabanas, the flavorful mangoes, or the familiar bananas, everyone can find their favorite fruit to enjoy. Meanwhile, the less familiar but equally delicious mombin, guayaba, and cerezas, provide pleasant variations to the tropical palette. And let’s not forget the pineapple, the pink and juicy king of all tropical fruits, which can be consumed roadside, in the city, or on the beach.
Soursop Juice: A Refreshing and Nutritious Exotic Fruit Beverage
The Unusual Taste of Soursop
If you want to try something simultaneously familiar and unusual, soursop is an excellent choice. Its flavor is tangy and nutty, with a hint of sweetness. Some people compare soursop to a mix of pineapple, strawberries, and bananas, while others liken it to a combination of oranges and melon. However you describe it, soursop’s vibrant taste will surely delight your palate.
The Nutritional Content of Soursop
In addition to its delicious taste, soursop is also a powerhouse of nutrients. It is high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to consume a healthy diet. Soursop’s rich content of noni, or morinda, has also been studied for its potential to combat cancer and cardiovascular disorders.
You can consume soursop as a fruit, juice, or in jams blended with a range of other exotic fruits such as cerezas, arrayán, and mandarina. While its outer shell is green and inedible, the inside of soursop is soft, white, and creamy. Simply cut it in half, discard the seeds, and scoop out the flesh to enjoy. Alternatively, you can buy soursop juice or make your own by blending the fruit with milk, sugar, or chocolate.
Where to Find Soursop in the Dominican Republic
Soursop is a staple fruit in the Dominican Republic, and you can find it in most local markets and even on some beaches. The best time to buy soursop is between November and January, when it is in season. Soursop comes in a range of sizes, from small to large, so measure how much you need before buying. Meanwhile, make sure to organize the soursop aside from other fruits to avoid contamination and accelerate its maturation.
Tasting Soursop Juice for the First Time
When we first tasted soursop juice, we were skeptical about its unusual flavor. But after the second sip, we were hooked. It’s no wonder that soursop is a popular beverage not just in the Dominican Republic but worldwide, too. Soursop juice is a simple and refreshing drink that everyone can enjoy.
Noni Fruit Tea
If you are looking for a unique and healthy beverage to try in the Dominican Republic, consider ordering Noni Fruit Tea. Noni is a tropical fruit-bearing tree that is responsible for a range of other edible products, including pickling and wine. This fruit has been gaining popularity in the Caribbean because of its tremendous range of features, including its vitamins, omega fibers, and better-than-coconuts nutritional content.
Noni Fruit is typically harvested during the spring months, when the fruit turns from green to yellowish-green, and it can range in size from tiny to the largest diameter of about 6 inches. Noni fruit is commonly peeled before it is sliced thinly or cut into small chunks and added to other fruits like lechoza, cherries, or melon.
In addition to being a mild and tasty fruit, Noni is highly regarded for its health benefits. Noni contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can protect you against cholesterol and other health problems. Some studies suggest Noni can improve your immune system and keep it strong.
You can find Noni at local markets in the Dominican Republic, and it is commonly served as a chilled beverage with either almíbar or just a simple squeeze of a lime. Some others prepare Noni Fruit Tea by boiling slices and adding honey or sugar, and this beverage is highly recommended for those looking for a refreshing drink while on the beaches or exploring the city.
Noni Fruit Tea is not as popular as other beverages like caña or star fruit, but it is absolutely worth trying while in the Dominican Republic. Many locals swear by the drink’s health benefits and highly recommend it to tourists. So, give it a shot and see if you fall in love with this colorful and exotic fruit’s taste and benefits.
When it comes to exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic, there are numerous names that everyone knows about – piña, mamón, coco, etc. But have you ever heard of starfruit?
Also known as carambola, the starfruit gets its name from its shape – if you cut it open, you’ll find that it’s about the size of a small orange and has five ridges that run down its sides, giving it the appearance of a star when sliced.
The starfruit is a subtropical fruit that is highly cultivated in the Dominican Republic, mostly in the central region. It’s often used in marinades or batidas (fruit shakes) and is also delicious eaten straight or in salads.
One unusual component of starfruit is its low sugar content, making it a better option for those with diabetes or who are watching their carbohydrate intake. It also contains negligible amounts of saturated fat and is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, fiber, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
When bought, the starfruit is typically firm and green but will ripen to a yellow color and become softer. To prepare it, simply wash it clean, slice it into thin, vinegary slices, and arrange it on a salad or a table.
Perhaps the most pleasant thing about starfruit is its taste – it’s a sweet and sour mix that is instantly familiar but with a zing of something fruity and exotic. Some say it tastes like a blend of apple, grape, and citrus, while others describe it as tasting like a combination of berry and pepper. Whatever you call it, it’s always delicious!
And if you’re looking for other exotic fruits to try in the Dominican Republic, make sure to check out limoncillo, mamoncillo, linda, dulce, and breadfruit. These fruits are also highly cultivated and have been enjoyed in the Dominican Republic for years!
The Benefits of Eating Exotic Fruits in the Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic, there are many exotic fruits that you must-try during your visit. Not only are they delicious, but they also offer many health benefits.
The vibrant, colorful fruits are a great source of natural carbohydrates, making them a filling and energizing snack. Some of the most popular ones include passionfruit, noni, jatoba, and cherries.
Passionfruit, commonly known as maracuja, is a yellowish-green fruit with a hardy outer skin that can be peeled to reveal a soft, edible inside. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants that are responsible for promoting cardiovascular health.
Noni, on the other hand, is a cold, chewy fruit that’s packed with omega and essential fatty acids. Its minimal amount of calories, coupled with a high amount of dietary fiber, make it an ideal snack for everyone.
Jatoba is a beautiful, hair-like fruit that runs in the Dominican Republic during the months of January and February. When eaten, it has a pleasantly sour taste that leaves a lingering sweetness in your mouth. Its ingredients also help soften hardy dishes, making them more enjoyable to chew and swallow.
If you want a cold beverage that doesn’t have the added sugar or sodium of alcoholic drinks, consider trying guarapo. This beverage is made by squeezing the juice out of fresh sugarcane flowers, and it’s a popular drink among Spanish-speaking countries.
Finally, cherries are a somewhat uncommon produce in the Dominican city of Baní. They are best eaten by sucking on them to get the most flavor out of each fruit. With its natural milk-like taste, cherries are an excellent source of calcium while still providing a tasty snack.
Overall, by shifting to eating exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic, you’ll be taking a responsible approach to making your diet healthier. You could even end up discovering your new must-try snack!
What are some of the most popular exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic?
Some of the most popular exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic include guava, papaya, passion fruit, and mango.
How do I know which exotic fruits are good to try?
The best way to know which exotic fruits to try is to look for ones that are in season and ask locals for recommendations. You can also try visiting a local market to see what fruits are popular and being sold at the time.
Are there any precautions I should take before trying exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to wash any fruit before consuming it, especially if you bought it from a street vendor. You should also be careful not to eat any fruit that looks overripe or spoiled.
How can I incorporate exotic fruits into my meals?
You can incorporate exotic fruits into your meals by mixing them into salads, making smoothies or sorbets, or using them as toppings for yogurt or oatmeal. You can also try grilling or baking fruits like plantains or pineapples as a side dish to your main meal.
What are some lesser-known exotic fruits to try in the Dominican Republic?
Some lesser-known exotic fruits to try in the Dominican Republic include guanabana, nispero, and anon fruit. Guanabana, also known as soursop, has a sweet and tangy flavor and is great in smoothies or as a dessert. Nispero, also known as loquat, has a juicy and slightly tart taste and is often eaten as a snack. Anon fruit, also known as sugar apple, has a creamy and sweet flavor and is great in desserts or eaten on its own.