Tostones y Batidas

19 Nov

Two things I’ve been consuming quite a bit of lately…tostones y batidas.  Both common items on any Dominican menu.

Tostones are twice- fried green (unripe) plantains and they are small round discs of deliciousness.  According to wikipidia, the word tostones comes from the Spanish verb tostar, meaning “to toast”.  Dominicans love to eat them salted with ketchup and they are a side dish that often accompanies (of course) chicken. They’re a bit like french fries in that greasy, snack food type of way.  The kids back at Corlears School in NYC were thinking of making tostones in their classroom, so Renzo, Samba, and I made a video to show them how to prepare them.

You can watch it here:

Batidas are, put simply, fruit-blended milkshakes.  Dominicans especially love lechuga (papaya) and guanabana (soursop) batidas.   Lechuga is supposed to be good for *ahem* regularity, so Renzo’s mom began making them for me in the morning, always saving an extra glass to be consumed later in the afternoon.  She’s not around at the moment, but I’ve continued the morning ritual.  While Dominicans tend to use just one fruit mixed with milk and/or water and a bit of sugar, I mix various fruits like lechuga, zapote, banana, pina, y banana and try to find a combination that doesn’t require extra sweetening, but if it does I’ll just use a bit of honey.  I cut up and freeze the fruit so the batidas usually don’t require any additional ice.  Cutting up and freezing fruit before they get overripe is a great way to avoid having them end up in the trash because they weren’t consumed soon enough.   I have no idea why that’s never been a habit of mine before.  It’s so easy to make a shake when you’ve got the frozen fruit all ready to go!

Renzo’s dad sent us home from our trip to the capitol (Santo Domingo) with a guanabana.  I’m really not a fan of eating the fruit straight up…it has a nice flavor but an incredibly strange, spongy kind of texture that both Renzo and I just find unappealing.  However, blended into a batida it’s quite delicious.  It’s just  takes a bit of a time commitment to cut up the fruit and remove the very many little black seeds which sit in tiny pockets inside the creamy, white, flesh.  Recently research has emerged suggesting the guanabana has potent cancer-fighting properties and this has led to a sharp increase in the price of the fruit over here in DR.  Renzo’s uncle was telling us you used to see heaps of guanabana on the ground but nowadays they are scooped up quick and sold for a pretty penny.  There’s an article here from the Jamaica gleaner talking more about it.  It seems the leaves and stems have cancer killing properties, but it’s unclear to me if the flesh contains those compounds as well:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090625/cook/cook2.html

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well that’s all for now…preparing a post for tomorrow about all of the seeds we’ve been germinating!!!  If I forget to mention it tomorrow…Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back home…really looking forward to seeing my family!!!

hasta mañana

xoxo A

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3 Responses to “Tostones y Batidas”

  1. buy silver coins January 28, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you present.
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  2. Alex July 13, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    It’s Lechosa, not lechuga(lettuce).

  3. dominicanroots December 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    Grammatical slip up…you’re correct, muchas gracias!

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