When you think of the Dominican Republic, what comes to mind? It’s likely that you’re picturing beautiful beaches, picture-perfect sand, and the beautiful ocean.
One thing that’s often overlooked is the food. Especially the fruit. The Dominican Republic is home to exotic fruit that’s as delicious as it is nutritious.
Keep reading for the Dominican Republic fruits you must try.
1. Sea Grape or Uva de Playa
Known locally as uva de playa, these hearty grapes are used to help prevent erosion. Their skin is tough and they’re resistant to salt, making them a functional part of the beach.
Better yet, they’re rich in vitamins A, B2, E, and K. They also have high levels of potassium, folate, biotin, calcium, and iodine. Ripening in the late-summer, early-fall, they’re a favorite for making jams and wine.
2. Passion Fruit or Maracuya
This enticingly named fruit is packed with flavor, making it’s pulp a common ingredient for drinks and desserts. It’s also easily enjoyed raw, with crunchy, fiber-rich seeds and fragrant, yellow pulp.
It’s also full of nutrients and antioxidants, which lends to its popularity among the health-conscious. You can find passion fruit pulp for sale here.
3. Stinking Toe Fruit or Jatoba do Cerrado
With a name like that, can this really be a must-try fruit? If you can get past its odor (which inspired its name), then absolutely.
With an outer-shell that contains its scent, the stinking toe fruit is most often used as an ingredient as opposed to being eaten raw. It has the consistency of flour and the taste of dried milk, making it a key ingredient in baked goods as well as beverages.
4. Breadfruit or Guanpán
Also known as fruta de pan, breadfruit is easily recognized by its spiky, green exterior. Crack it open and cook it and you’ll find the fruit with a texture similar to baked bread and the taste of potato.
It’s often used to make a variety of dishes, from bread to dips to desserts and more. Breadfruit is gluten-free, and is highly nutritious and contains omega fatty acids along with antioxidants, protein, and vitamins.
5. Spanish Lime or Limoncillo
Spanish lime? Mamoncillo? Quenepa? This exotic fruit goes by many names throughout Latin America, but in the Dominican Republic it is called Limoncillo.
Limoncillos look like small limes on the outside, hence the English name of Spanish Lime. However, they are quite different.
When you bite into a Limoncillo, the outer green skin will crack and reveal an orange fleshy covered stone. The most common way to eat a Limoncillo is by sucking the stone right out of the skin and sucking on the flesh, yielding a tangy taste. Watch below.
6. Star Fruit or Carambola
Dominicans love Carambola or Star Fruit. The name star fruit comes from the five point star shape it reveals once sliced. It has both a sweet and sour taste. If the carambola starts to show brown spots it means it is ripening and will yield a sweeter taste.
Carambola can be eaten as is and is commonly used to make delicious jellies or jams.
Some compare its texture to grapes as the carambola’s flesh is firm and very juicy.
Carambola is a great source of Vitamin C and potassium.
7. Tamarind or Tamarindo
The tamarindo or tamarind fruit is a brown bean-like pod. Each pod is filled with both seeds and pulp. The pulp is used in making many different sauces, including Worcestershire sauce, as well in drinks and desserts.
In the Dominican Republic tamarind pulp is mostly eaten fresh and used to make fruit juices.
Research shows that tamarind protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lower cholesterol levels are also a health benefit.
8. Sour Sop or Guanábana
Sour sop or Guanabana is a large, green, oval shaped fruit. It can weigh as much as ten pounds. Its outer surface is mostly covered in thorns. When sliced open you’ll notice the fruit’s flesh is white with dark seeds. Do not eat the seeds though as they are not edible.
The guanabana’s flesh has a sweet and creamy taste. Like most tropical fruits guanabana is used to make exotic drinks. One such drink is, Champola de guanabana, a delicious drink made from its guanabana pulp with the addition of milk and sugar.
9. Mamey or Zapote
The Zapote or Mamey fruit has an oval like shape much like a small football. When the tropical fruit is sliced open it reveals an orangey-red flesh with a shiny dark brown seed in the center.
Dominicans refer to this fruit as Zapote. And just like most exotic fruits, it is traditionally used to make ice cream or batidos (milkshakes), smoothies and in many dessert recipes.
Last Thoughts on Dominican Republic Fruit
Part of the traveling experience is taking in the food local to the area. The availability of local foods is a factor in this, but it’s also a great way to get a better understanding of the culture you’re visiting.
Dominican Republic fruits offer an insight into the land, the people, and their history. Whether it’s delicious, nutritious, or just plain weird, there’s something to be learned.
Our blog is all about sharing our love of Latin American foods & drinks. We will bring you articles and recipes of the very best Latin American & Spanish cuisine. Amigofoods was founded in 2003 and is the largest online grocery store offering a wide variety of hard to find freshly imported foods & drinks from all over Latin America and Spain.