This is just a little taste of some of the food (along with their translations) you will run across here in Dominican Republic. This way you will know what many of the items are on menus and how to ask for these items. If you do not know something just ask. Many Dominicans do know a little of other languages. If you still do not know, just give it a try. You could be pleasantly surprised. I never ate goat meat before I came to DR. I went to a restaurant and asked them for something typical Dominican. They served me goat which I did not find out until later when I asked someone.
Any additions you have please let us know
*Añuga Perros (dog choker) - A coconut candy sold in small chunks in many of the Colmados.
*Ahuyama or Auyama - A type of yam pumpkin like squash (used in many soups to make the color). The seeds are also edible. Great cooked alone or added to a dish. You can see these in myna of the corner stores and truck vendors cut into pieces or sold whole.
*Ají -(pimiento, chile) This is the general word for peppers or chilies. They can come in all shapes, sizes and varieties.
*Aji Verde - Green pepper
*Al Ajillo - A sauce made with wine, butter and lots of garlic. You will see this on many menus throughout the country. Camarones Al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce), Mero Al Ajillo (A type of Fish in Garlic Sauce), Pollo al ajillo (Chicken in Garlic Sauce).
*Albóndigas - Meatballs. These tasty little balls can served as a main course, side dish or snack (picadera) in a sauce, typically a tomato type sauce. These small balls of meat are usually made of ground meat (carne picada or carne molida) but can also be made with fish. They are also added to the typical spaghettis and soups.
*Arepa - A spicy baked pudding made of cornmeal and coconut milk, evaporated milk with cinnamon and raisins. Very popular in the Jarabacoa area, you can find these large cake like sweets in many road side stands. They taste best when they are still warm but are great cold also.
+click image to enlarge
*Algarrobo - Carob. It's nickname here is mierda en cajeta - shit in a little box. This is a very strange fruit. It is said to be high in vitamins. When opened it does smell bad and the fruit is dry with a fuzzy texture. Get past the smell and the fruit is sweet.
*Almendra - Almond. The Dominican almendra tree grows quite large and makes some great shade from the sun. The hard seed shell covers a single long, slim nut that is then toasted to produce the nut that we all love to consume. You can purchase almendras in many road side stands. The nuts are readily available in little plastic bags all nicely roasted.
+click images to enlarge: (left) Almendra Tree (bottom) almendra nuts