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Dominican Food Vs. Haitian Food: How They Differ From Each Other

You may be wondering what’s the difference between Dominican food vs Haitian food.

The Dominican Republic is a Spanish colony, while Haiti was colonized by France.

Both are Caribbean countries with rich cultures and histories, but they have different cuisines because of how each country was colonized.

This resulted in an array of different dishes and flavors found in two islands.

Let’s figure it out in this article.

What is special about Dominican food?

Cocina Criolla (Spanish Edition)
  • Aristy, Estela (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 09/14/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace...

Dominican food is generally simpler than other cuisines, however, it is packed with many traditions of indigenous people from the island.

Dominican cuisine has been influenced by African, Spanish, Arabic, and Caribbean cultures.

Their dishes are often heavy on starch ingredients like rice, corn, plantains, beans, or potatoes.

The most typical kinds of meat are pork, beef, and chicken.

Despite their great access to fresh seafood, they tend to have more meat in their daily diets and just occasionally consume seafood.

Dominican food focuses on the freshness of the ingredients rather than using various spices.

Cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper are mainly used in any kitchen to taste and enhance the flavor of their dishes without adding a spicy kick.

What is special about Haitian food?

50 Favorite Haitian Recipes: Taste the Islands Essentials
  • Verna, Cynthia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 132 Pages - 05/24/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace...

Haiti is a Caribbean island that shares the border with the Dominican Republic.

Therefore, Haitian cuisine is very similar to Dominican cuisine.

In Haiti, food is intrinsically linked to culture and tradition.

In fact, islanders are so proud of their cuisine that they have declared it a national treasure.  

The country’s cuisine can be divided into three main categories: Creole, French, and African.

It is important to note that these dishes vary greatly depending on where you live in Haiti as well as what your economic status may be.

However, there are some things that are common across all Haitians: rice and beans being one of them.

Haiti is relatively poor, and seafood is more expensive than other affordable meat cuts like pork, beef, and chicken in this country.

Therefore, their meals typically contain inexpensive ingredients, protein from meat, rice, fried plantains or beans, and a slice of avocado sometimes.

Their food is a bit spicier than other Caribbean cuisines because of the use of scotch bonnet peppers.

What are the differences between Dominican food and Haitian food?

It seems that Dominican food and Haitian food are relatively similar.

Therefore, there are only a few differences between these two Caribbean cuisines:

Haiti food is spicier than Dominican food

The first difference is that Haitian food is likely to be spicier than Dominican food.

People from this island tend to use more hot spices like peppercorn and chilies to add a spicy kick to their dishes.

Meanwhile, Dominicans mainly use cumin and oregano to enhance the flavor of their food rather than making it spicy.

Dominicans eat more rice than Haitians

Rice is a staple in Dominican cuisine.

They mainly eat plain steamed white rice with other savory dishes.

Haitians also serve rice in their meals, but it’s not a compulsory dish on a daily basis like in the Dominican Republic.

They also eat fried plantains and beans as substitutes for rice rather than serving with rice.

What are the similarities between Dominican food and Haitian food?

As already mentioned, Dominican food and Haitian food are more alike than being different from each other.

Below are some typical similarities between Dominican cuisine and Haiti cuisine:

Dominican food and Haiti food are both influenced by the same culinary cultures

In general, Dominican food and Haitian food have been both influenced by African, Spanish, and Caribbean cuisines due to their proximity to geographic locations.

This similarity results in numerous following likenesses between the two cuisines.

Beans and plantains are two carb staples in Dominican and Haiti food

Two cuisines share the same starch options from beans and the tropical fruit, plantains.

Plantains are picked when still green, fried, then mashed into a paste form.

Beans, on the other hand, are stewed until they become tender and can easily melt in the mouth.

Seafood is more expensive and less widely consumed than meat in both cuisines

One of the most interesting things in both cuisines is that although they are two island countries with many access to the ocean and the sea, thus getting an abundant source of fresh seafood, indigenous people rarely eat seafood.

In fact, they prefer meat like beef, pork, or chicken, and seafood is quite expensive so that they mainly consume seafood on a tight budget.

Slow-cooking over an open flame is popular in both cuisines

Another similarity between Dominican cuisine and Haitian cuisine is that they share the same popular cooking method.

Slow-cooking dishes are cooked over an open flame made from coals, which give the dish a distinct flavor instead of cooking in a conventional oven or stovetop like in other modern cuisines.

Which one is better?

Cocina Criolla (Spanish Edition)50 Favorite Haitian Recipes: Taste the Islands Essentials
Cocina Criolla (Spanish Edition)50 Favorite Haitian Recipes: Taste the Islands Essentials
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The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the same border, therefore, their cultures and cuisines also have a lot in common.

They speak the same language, share similar traditions, and their food is also very familiar with some staples like beef, chicken, and pork for meat, rice, beans, potatoes, and plantains for starch options, and slow-cooking for the typical cooking method.

There are slight differences between Dominican and Haitian cuisines as well, but not significant.

Therefore, the best and easiest way to figure out which cuisine is better for you is to try them both and decide after that.

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