A very large part of adjusting to the ways of life and culture here has been trying to change the basic eating habits my body was used to. In my situation, because of where I live and work, along with how my meals are provided, All of my meals are pretty much out of my control. Something like eating when you are hungry and portion control is something people take for granted. Here not so much. Don´t get me wrong, I am forever grateful for those here who have so generously taken on the task of hosting Kristen and I. But the American body (or at least my body) is used to certian things. A certain intake of fruits and vegetables for instance. One of my favorite foods is salad. Yeah, I know. Sounds lame and very typical girly-like, but you haven't seen my salads. Ask all of my friends from college. Not only are my salads huge, but I have been known to get every food group on my salad at any given salad bar. So, needless to say, up until this year, my body had gotten used to a whole lot of vegetables.
Here in the DR, there are four major food groups: You have your milk group (cheese), then you have your vegetables (potatoes), grains (rice), and then of course you have your fruits (bananas). Add the occasional red beans and bread, mix in some occassional questionable meat, and TA-DA. You have the basic Dominican diet. But I do enjoy the food here, very much in fact. Sometimes though, the lack of variety reeks havoc on my body.
One thing that was introduced to me here, something seemingly common that I had never before heard of is Kong-Kong. Kong Kong, as it is known here, is the rice stuck to the bottom of the pot after it is cooked. A very weird concept, but the best way to describe it is a crunchy/ chewy rice usually served at the end of the meal. For whatever reason, is really good. It probably isn´t too healthy, based only on the fact that I really like it. When my parents were visiting, I introduced them to the dish and they enjoyed it as well. I´ve heard that Kong Kong may goes by other names around the world, so I´d be interested in knowing if any of you has ever heard of this dish.