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Dominica - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Dominica Cuisine HistoryEdit

Dominica is a small island located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Dominica was an English colony until 1978 when it gained its independence. Due to the fact that it was under English occupation for almost two centuries and that it borders French colonies Dominican cuisine shows various English and French influences. The French introduced bread while the English introduced European desserts. However the staple food remained traditional. Dominica’s cuisine is based on agouti, crabs, crayfish, manicou and crapaud as well as game and fresh water fish. The local cuisine is full of taste and fire. Dominican cuisine is full of earthy aroma of curry. In some way the wonderful sting of Scotch Bonnet peppers is artfully balanced with the softness of fresh coconut milk. Dominican cuisine is heavy on tropical fruits such as papaya, mango, pineapples; and vegetables and also a variety of seafood.

Cuisines of Dominica Edit

Map of Dominica

Map of Dominica- Click to enlarge

Dominican staple food includes vegetables like dasheen, tannia and yams, fresh greens such as lettuce, spinach, watercress and callalou. Dominica is heavy on exotic fruits which include bananas, breadfruits, avocados, guavas, coconuts, oranges, grapefruits, limes and tangerines. People from Dominica also plant a variety of fresh herbs and spices like parsley, celery, chive, cinnamon, thyme, nutmeg and cloves. The main source of protein for most inhabitants is fish such as Dorado, kingfish and Snapper. They also consume a large quantity of spiny lobster and octopuses found in the sea. In the mountainous areas there are crayfishes, land crabs and crapaud frog also called mountain Chicken. People from Dominica prefer light and spicy dishes made abundant on vegetables and greens combined with fish or seafood. coconut palm tree provide oil used for frying. British influences are shown by the numerous dishes which contain cucumber and sweet potatoes.

Preparation Methods for Dominica Cooking Edit

In the Dominican cuisine there are used elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Dominican cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Dominican cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The variety of vegetables and cereals found in Dominican is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Dominican’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Dominican dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Dominica Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Dominican cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Dominican dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Dominican food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Dominica Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Dominican national day is on November 3.Other national holidays are New Year's Day (January 1); Carnival (Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday); Good Friday, Easter Monday; Labor Day (May1st); Whit Monday (50 days after Easter Sunday); August Monday (First Monday in August); Independence Day (November3rd); Community Day of Service (November 4); Christmas Day (December 25); Boxing Day (December26th). During the national holidays people from Dominica serve smoked or stewed opossum so called manicou or agauti which is actually made of a bib rodent such as squirrel or raccoon, which are served with provisions a type of rice, yucca or pumpkin.

People in Dominica Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Dominica dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Dominica chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Dominica chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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