Because of the islands’ proximity and their cultural interdependence, commonalities were bound to occur. Here are some dishes you can find across the region:
Dulce de lechosa: Although originally from Venezuela, my father insists it is de Puerto Rico. “I grew up with it!” he exclaims. I couldn’t leave out these caramelized papaya chunks, a must-have in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
Arroz con leche: Popular around the world with no known exact origin, arroz con leche as known in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and known as arroz con dulce in Puerto Rico, is created in slightly distinct ways according to the region. Ingredients usually include: rice, coconut milk, cream of coconut, evaporated milk, cloves, and ginger, raisins which are soaked in rum, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. YUM!
Majarete: Popular in ALL four islands! (But made differently in each one.) A typical Venezuelan dessert and named majarete in all the islands except Haiti where it’s called doukounou, the main ingredients include sweet corn, cornstarch, milk, and cinnamon.