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Taste of the World: Dominica

By Bret Pallotto
March 2, 2017

Dominica is one island that I have been fortunate enough to travel to and experience. My mind initially thought of the Dominican Republic, rather than Dominica, when I first heard about it.

Situated in the Caribbean Sea, the island is known as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” for its natural beauty. Upon my arrival there, the first thing that I noticed was how rugged and mountainous the nation was. The taxi ride that I had taken to the top was on roads that were practically vertical, with no guard rails on the side, I must add.

Either way, the was extremely scenic and through dense tropical rainforests. Towards the end of the tour, however, came one of the more memorable sights that came from my visit. There were sporadic telephone poles along the road and a single cow was often tied to them. I had never seen anything like it before. When I asked the taxi driver about it, he barely had a reaction. It was something completely normal for their culture, but I couldn’t help but stare each time.

Since a vast majority of the nation is mountainous and not suitable for agriculture, most of their food has to be imported. Bananas, coconuts, limes and grapefruits are some of the fruits they depend upon.

Our taxi driver, who was more like a tour guide, offered us some of their fresh produce. The bananas were outstanding, but it was the coconut that really stood out. He used the coconut as the main ingredient in something that he called coconut candy. I cannot say that I remember specifically what was in it or how it was made, but I do remember that it was very sweet and had a type of sauce on it. If I had to guess, I’d say it was brown sugar or something similar.

I’m fairly certain that you’d be able to find a recipe on the internet that would be very similar.

Their flag, pictured to the left, uses horizontal and vertical bands of yellow, black and white. The yellow represents the native population, the black represents the soil and the white represents the purity of the water.

The national bird, the Sisserou parrot, can be seen in the center of the flag surrounded by 10 stars. The stars represent the island’s 10 parishes.

Another standout feature of the island was the black sand beaches. We were told that is was due to volcanic ash and minerals because they are naturally dark colored. It is one thing to read and look back on the black sand beaches, but to have actually experienced them in person is something that I am very grateful for.

With all of that being said, if you ever have the opportunity to travel to Dominica, I highly recommend it. In the meantime, I highly recommend the coconut candy.

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