One of the things that I miss the most about my island, apart from the beautiful beaches with white sands and crystal-clear waters, is my mother’s Sancocho. It is definitely one of the main excuses for me to come back.

Like all Dominicans living abroad, when arriving at the airport, we will have for sure that a rich sancocho and a “fría vestida de novia” awaiting for us at home (“fría vestida de novia” it’s how we call the super cold beers in Dominican Republic, due to the white layer that is forms outside of the bottle because of the excess of cold – a whole technique to patent!). Writing these lines makes me want to take that plane at this moment ….

Sancocho is a typical dish, not only from Dominican Republic, but also from countries such as Colombia, Panama and Venezuela. It has a great Spanish and African influence. It is believed that the first sancocho in the region was imported by the Canaries and over time it was adapted to each country. It is also evident the African influence in this iconic dish, due to the ingredients that we use in our country such as plantain bananas, yam or yautía.

In our island it is definitely one of the most representative meals of our culinary culture. We prepare it at parties, at family gatherings, before any rain, in short, we prepare it with any excuse, but its purpose is always the same, to please our loved ones. It is one of those dishes that have no social level, since it is preparing in the same way in low-income households as in the homes of the more affluent. Outside the island, when two or three Dominicans meet abroad, they end up organizing always a sancocho. It is also part of our popular slang. For a Dominican to say that “el día está para un sancochito” means that it is cloudy, it is raining, or it is a bit cold. When we say, “te volviste un sancocho“, it means that you are mixing too many things at the same time and, when planning any informal meeting, the call is usually “let’s make a sancocho“.

My mother’s sancocho is special. She puts her soul and her heart at it (as well as half a supermarket !! 🙂 ) and makes each of us forget about diets and repeat more than once. She always accompanies it with that white rice that only she knows how to prepare, a slice of avocado and that crispy concón (the part of the rice that sticks to the pot when cooking it), that no matter how much I try, I do not achieve the same result.

I will not extend it more, because abstinence syndrome comes to me suddenly.

I share the recipe of my mother and I hope you can prepare it for your loved ones and manage to reproduce in them the same sensations that all Dominicans feel when sitting at the table to taste this dish, which is one of our main culinary treasures. Let’s go there!!!