Sunday, August 3, 2014

Trip to Dominican Republic (Day 5)...Exploring Dominican Culture

Dominican Cocina

We took a cultural tour of Dominican Republic one day. I was really excited about seeing and learning a little about Dominican people's lives.

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We drove to a small village in a mountain to a local elementary school. It's summer vacation time and they were having a summer school. The kids were very sweet. A boy gave me a flower.

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Dominican Republic is the third largest coffee growing country of the world (#1 is Columbia and #2 is Brazil). A family grower of coffee and cacao welcomed us at their property. Dominican Republic is also famous for its premium chocolate and cocoa. The owner, Peppy, and his family live in a traditional Dominican-style house. His wife and daughter were busy in the kitchen to prepare lunch.

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We learned about traditional coffee and cacao making. Peppy showed us how to roast coffee. The freshly roasted, ground, and brewed coffee tasted incredible.

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Peppy broke the freshly harvest cacao from the tree and broke it to let us taste the fresh cacao fruits. I was told not to chew on it but just suck. It was quite sweet with a soft tartness. So nice. Then, he ground the dry cacao fruit (beans) to let us taste. We also tasted hot cocoa made from the freshly ground cocoa. I must say it was the best hot cocoa I've ever tasted!

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We also visited a cigar maker. Dominican cigar is also very famous. This artisan maker rolls about 250 cigars a day, all by himself! Jason bought several cigars (including flavored cigars). In their property, I also tasted Mamajuana, which is a traditional Dominican drink, made from Dominican rum, red wine, honey, and herbs. Very exotic and nice.

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For lunch, we enjoyed Dominican BBQ and fried chicken. So good!

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After lunch, we visited a beach which is popular among locals (so you don't see other tourists).  The ocean was so calm and gorgeous. I enjoyed swimming for a while. It was also entertaining to see some local boys practicing acrobatic dancing. They were very good!

It was such a fun and wonderful tour, that made me love this country more and more.