When visiting the Dominican Republic, a piece of paradise in the Caribbean, eating fresh fried fish at the beach is a must, it’s part of our folclor; you will get in contact with our way of enjoying life in a healthy way!!!!!
From the Tainos we have inherited our love for fish, we have good fishermen, specially for fried fish or “pecao frito” (pescado frito) as pronounced by most Dominicans. Although we are an island, fish is much more expensive than meat. Dominican household does not often cook fish as they do with chicken, the number one meat; depending of the region, fish is prepared in different ways. However there is a way fish is prepared we all love and that is fried fish at the beach!!
Practically on all the coast of the Dominican Republic, along the beach and seaside towns, you will find fresh fish, that is, the catch of the day! There are the typical small places, made of four strong wooden posts and a zinc or palm tree roof, along the beach with a few chairs and a small table! Originally all these chairs were made of “Guano”, but during the past few years, plastic chairs and tables are substituting these chairs.
Close to the beach you will normally find rows of food stands, with a large metal “basin” , locally made, with coal used as fuel, and a large frying pan, where different kind of whole fishes are fried after being rubbed with salt, oregano, coated in flour and then deep fried until crispy! Most of the time, the frying oil is reused, which many natives believe gives the fish a special tasty touch!
When you are at all these stands you get the feeling of a Fried Fish Fair, here you are being offered delicious whole fried fish in different sizes/weight, by some guys whose job is to bring customers to the stand they work for! The price of the whole fish is between US$ 8.00 and US$ 10.00, but it will be determined by its size/weight and type! The most popular fishes are the Loro (Parrotfish) and the Chillo (Red Snapper).
You can buy already fried fish or you can ask for the type of fish you want them to fry for you from the fresh variety they have available! The fish will be always served with lemon slices; to eat with the fish you have a variety of fried food such as plantain(tostones), sweet potato (batata), cassava rolls (bollo de yuca) and Johnny cake (Yaniqueque), introduced by Afro-descendants coming from other Caribbean islands!
You can also go to a restaurant in town or close to the beach, for a more refined ambience, but you will miss the typical Dominican atmosphere! A beer, normally Presidente, is ordered, as well as, soft drinks for the children and at the rythm of a Bachata or a Merengue, which are the loudly played, you will eat your fried fish! Dominicans will prefer to eat their fish with the fingers; knives and forks (plastic ones) will be ignored, to fully enjoy every bit of their fish!
Dominican Republic has it all, awesome tropical sceneries, beautiful beaches, mountains, rivers, our unique Larimar stone and friendly people who enjoy life in a simple way!!