Carrots in the Dominican Republic

When I think about Dominican Republic trip, I think of crystal-clear waters and white beaches. But now I can't help but also think about carrots.

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I spent a week there recently, renting a house with some friends on an isolated beach on the Samana Penninsula. We ate a lot of rice, a lot of grilled fish and a lot of eggs.

One night we ate dinner out in a nearby town, at a restaurant run by an Italian family (homemade pasta with shellfish, not bad). But most of the food we either cooked ourselves or ate in seaside shacks where the fish was freshly caught and simply prepared.

On our last night we we're cooking at home, trying to use up everything left in the fridge. I'd bought a couple of chickens earlier in the week and had braised one for some kind of pulled chicken dish or stew.

(As a side note - when you travel, you see plenty of new dishes and styles and brands and pre-packaged products and even new vegetables. So it was very comforting to buy these two chickens and break them down. A chicken is still a chicken, everywhere.)

Anyway. So we had these carrots, these gnarly, huge carrots we'd bought but not eaten because vegetables need to be cooked really thoroughly there. I hacked up the biggest carrot and tossed it into the pot along with the chicken, beans, tomatoes and so on.

Now, I've never been a huge fan of carrots - maybe it's the fibrous texture, the chewiness, the earthy flavor. My mother, at the height of my food pickiness, once bet me $5 I couldn't eat an entire carrot. She won, when I couldn't make it through the first bite.

Of course I cook with carrots; I'm just not a huge fan. But eating this stew we made on our last night, I bit into a carrot and was amazed. It was so sweet, so clean, unlike any carrot I'd ever eaten before. I was really floored because I felt like I was tasting a carrot for the first time.

I suppose it's an obvious revelation, one of those things that you know academically but maybe don't quite emotionally realize until you experience it food tastes different in different places. More or less chemicals, better or worse soil, farther or nearer farms; there are plenty of factors.

Whatever it was, that carrot was amazing.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 06/22/2019