Fruits; the Juicy Legacy of the Conquest

Fruits; the Juicy Legacy of the Conquest

Succulent, juicy, nutritious and abundant, the Tainos used fruit as a fundamental source of nutrition.  This inheritance from tropical nature has been preserved with the passing of generations that have taken pleasure in the flavors, aromas and textures of a great deal of the fruits that the original population of the island enjoyed.

Among those that are typically cultivated today are guanabana, mamey, star apple, guayaba, jobo, papaya, grapes, anon, jagua, pineapple and mamon.

The guayaba, according to the Tainos, was a fruit craved by the dead that, in bat form, left their caves during the night to enjoy the delight.  The Indians said that the jobo, another food ideal for bats, also emerged from caves and that the sun transformed it into a tree.

The lechosa was eventually named papaya, a moniker recognized by the rest of the continent.

Many fruits that make up the typical Dominican diet arrived after the discovery, as a part of the edible booty that the conquistadors obtained during their journeys.  The loquat, avocado, sapote, lemon grass, cajuil and granadillo are the most widely known and consumed.

Others arrived from Europe to enrich the arsenal of tropical flavors, with adaptations that have carried over throughout the centuries: oranges, lemons, figs and bananas were made popular on this side of the Atlantic.  And the tamarind arrived for posterity from Asia.

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