Dominican cuisine shares certain features with Creole cooking in that, while its roots are European, it was developed in the Americas with prominent African influences. In this sense, it is similar to the food in other Spanish- and French-speaking countries in the Caribbean, although each area has its own unique variations.
Over the years, Dominican cuisine has been influenced by multiple people and cultures, such as the immigrants from the Lesser Antilles (known as cocolos), who use coconut and wheat flour in many of their dishes.
A typical lunch in the Dominican Republic consists of white rice with stewed beans and meat (usually, chicken or beef, although other meats are also used). This dish may be accompanied by salad and fried green plantains (tostones) or fried ripe plantains.
Plantains are prepared in many different ways in the country, including boiled. Two common methods are tostones (twice-fried plantain chips) and mangú (mashed green plantains). Sweet, ripe plantains, in addition to being fried in slices, are also cooked in syrup (a dish known as plátanos maduros al caldero) and eaten as part of the main meal rather than for dessert!
One highly popular, traditional dish is "sancocho", a type of soup made from different meats and vegetables that can be found in several Caribbean countries, each offering its own local touch.
Just as the U.S. has fast food, in the Dominican Republic pica pollo, or breaded fried chicken, is a common snack, often served with tostones or french fries.
Classic desserts in the Dominican Republic include habichuelas con dulce (a sweet bean dish made with milk, sugar and raisins and traditionally eaten at Easter), majarete (a corn pudding made from grated corn and milk and dusted with cinnamon) and dulce de coco tierno con leche (a type of coconut pudding).