Category Archives: Street Vendors

Cocoero

Cocoero/ Coconut Street Vendor

El Cocoero street vendor can be spotted pushing a cart laden with coconuts (called coco here). At times this vendor will have a permanent spot and will not move his cart.

Cocoero selling coconut water in the streets of Colonial Zone

Coconut water is very fulfilling on a hot day and will give you a little energy boost.

Purchasing one of these green fresh coconuts can be tasty as well as entertaining and a little bit frightening. The vendor will grab the nut of choice firmly in his hand. He then will pull out a very sharp machete. Swinging the blade with great precision he commences to cutting of the top f the coconut by making slices in an angle around the top leaving a little point. One swift swipe across the top makes a small opening making the sweet water accessible. This water is called coco de auga.

Cocoero selling coco de auga

Drinking

the sweet liquid can be one directly from the coco, which can be messy, or you can use a straw. You can also choose to have the man pour it into a foam glass. If you wish you can add ice (which will cost a little extra) and sugar to the liquid.

While you are enjoying your beverage the vendor may offer to cut the coco in half there is any meat inside. Out comes the machete again and with amazing skill he will chop the coconut in half. This will make accessing the white, semi-slimy meat inside easier. Eating the meat can be done directly from the shell using a piece of the shell that was cut away earlier or it can be placed in a cup.

The cost

is about $40 to $60 pesos, maybe a few pesos more if you want ice or sugar (as of 12/12).

Yaniquequero

Yaniquequero/ Johnny Cake and Empanada Vendor

El Yaniquequero (pronounced yon-e-kay-key-ero) and his helper usually have a permanent spot to sell these hot treats and does not walk around much. You will see these vendors selling Yaniqueques (Johnnycakes), Empanadas and/or Pastelitos on many street corners. They are usually located in front of places where people gather.

Yaniquequero rolling out the dough

The Johnny Cake vendor will have a little table where he rolls out the dough. Some only sell the dough which is the original Yaniqueque. Other vendors will have containers on the table holding assorted fillings for filling the little dough pockets. Some of the fillings could include eggs, ham, beef, shrimp, cheese, mixed vegetables or other special items. Beside the table is a pot filled with boiling oil where the dough will be dropped into for frying.

Yaniquequero with Empanadas con Huevos boiling in the pot.

Popular and tasty these fried dough pieces and little stuffed pie type morsels are a must try item for a snack on the go.

The prices

for the plain piece of dough Yaniqueque are usually around RD$5 pesos. The filled pockets prices may range from around $25 to $50 pesos and sometimes more depending on the filling (as of 11/2017).

Friturero

El Friturero

El Friturero street vendor is not seen in the streets of Colonial Zone everyday but when he does show up people always are ready to purchase his tasty wares.

El Friturero

This vendor carries a large bowl covered with paper and plastic with a small cutting type board lying across the top of the bowl. If he calls out his wares, which many times he does not, he will yell “Tripita. Tripita”!.

When El Friturero lifts the plastic

of the bowl a sort of unpleasant yet acquired aroma seeps out from within. Once you get past the smell and try what is inside you just may be pleasantly surprised.

El Friturero cutting panza.

Inside the bowl are some very special Dominican style-meats. Typically the bowl is filled with Morcilla, which is blood sausage, Tripe, which are pork intestines, and Panza which is pig stomach. The man cuts these morsels on his little cutting board and gives you a plate. Add some lemon or a vinegar type sauce on top if available. Sometimes he will offer some boiled platano to accompany the meats. Everyone needs to try the Fritureros treats at least one time.