“Cocola gastronomy is rich in flavor, diversity, but above all, in nutritional value. Its lineage is not only characterized by the use of foods such as wheat or corn flour, fish and coconut, but also by the way these succulent dishes are prepared,” said Juan Silier, a descendant and promoter of the Cocola culinary culture.
The origins of this gastronomic culture date back to the arrival of a group of immigrants from the British Isles, at the end of the 19th century, who during their passage through the island marked the stoves of the Eastern zone, preserving their ancestral customs and serving as a culinary reference for San Pedro de Macorís.
“Cocola gastronomy is part of the idiosyncrasy of the Petromacorisanos, it is the result of thousands of years of history, transmitted from generation to generation”, said Silier, while maintaining that the name “Cocolo” had, initially, a pejorative sense, however, it currently serves to designate, indistinctly, some immigrants who contributed to the development of the gastronomic culture not only of the Eastern region, but of the whole country.
Domplines Drowned in Cheese
He also pointed out that it shares common features with the national cuisine, which adds characteristics of the Cocolos, and that thanks to this, the dishes that today are a world icon in the Cocola gastronomy were born.
According to Silier, who is also the owner of the only restaurant that promotes the rescue of Cocola cuisine in San Pedro de Macorís, Cocola food has a great diversity of dishes. Among them are the Domplines, which stand out as one of the most typical and representative; made of wheat flour and accompanied with cod, salami or drowned in cheese.
Likewise, there is the “Johnny Cake” (Yaniqueque), the Calalú soup, the Fungí and the Guavaberry, the latter is a liquor of Cocolo origin, called “the typical drink of San Pedro de Macorís”, argued the culinary promoter.