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Local Products

Clemmons, North...
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Local Products

First of all, I'd like to thank all of the contributors to this forum. With all of the information I've found here, I feel like I'm better prepared for my visit to PC. 8 of us will be staying at the Occidental Grand Flamenco 3/7 through 3/11.

I am fully aware that rum, coffee and cigars represent local goods that are common souvenirs and can be had for a relative bargain. But what about some other products? I know that cacao and sugar cane are grown in DR. Are there deals to be had on coffee liqueur, vanilla, sugar products like molasses, or any chocolate products?

I'm looking forward to eating some local tree ripened bananas and pineapple too.

Ottawa , Ontario
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429 posts
37 reviews
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1. Re: Local Products

Not sure about others. I know that everyone that has travelled with us before swear by getting as much vanilla back to Canada as they possibly can. lol

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416 posts
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2. Re: Local Products

We just brought vanilla back - note though, that you must bring it back in liquid form. A lot of the souvenier places sell the vanilla beans but you can't bring those back to Canada.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for La Romana, Bayahibe
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10 reviews
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3. Re: Local Products

I'm one who's actually only brought back 2 bottles of vanilla in all of my years of traveling to the DR! I find it difficult to tell the difference between real and artificial so I run scared. I've also heard that most of the beans used to make the vanilla aren't even Dominican but are imported. I'd love to hear an update to this, since the last report I received was that there was more cultivation being undertaken in the country. When I know it's real and from the country, I'm there too.

You can buy Dominican chocolate sporadically. I've seen chocolate balls that are intended for immersion to make hot chocolate drinks, and some powdered cocoa in grocery stores. When it's sold in a gift shop, you don't get very much.

There are some local alcohol products, like cream rum and one thing that nobody seems to discuss, Guavaberry liqueur. I like it with something tropical, like mango juice, but it has its own flavour which I enjoy straight as well. I've only seen it sold in grocery stores and in the cities, not the resort locations, but keep your eyes open. Even if you hate it, it's cheap and extremely different. It's bottled something like this: …webshots.com/photo/2334343820064234328XdGbtC Another alcoholic treat is mamajuana, which is a combination of bark and twigs mixed with rum, wine and honey. You can buy it wet or dry, but bringing it back home dry contravenes the bringing plants across the border rule so opt for the mixed one. If you don't like the way it tastes, pour out the liquid and make your own batch. It may be that the liquid in the bottle is only intended to cure the ingredients and not for drinking anyway. See if you can taste a batch at your hotel so you know what it's supposed to taste like. Avoid it if you have any particular plant or food allergies since the contents are often unnamed.

Speaking of the stores, if you find yourself in one of the grocery stores, you may want to do like I do and walk the aisles looking for something you can't get at home. In that vein, I always pick up a handful of Crystal Light type of juice powder (C Lite) in passionfruit, mango and tamarind flavours. You can also buy highly addictive plantain chips, like Platanitos, which are a deep fried thin slice, much like potato chips. You can get them in plain salted and flavours. Among the flavours, I like the garlic best!

You can also buy less expensive and more quality high-priced pieces of larimar and amber. Larimar is a stone found only in the Dominican Republic (and only in one area of the Dominican Republic) which can be easily picked up from beach vendors and luxury lobby stores. Amber is pretty rare and is easily copied and sold as plastic fakes. Don't expect to buy a piece with an insect or the rare blue amber for any kind of deal or on the beach. If you want some info on how to tell the difference between real and fake larimar and amber, what you might expect to see for sale and some prices, send me an e-mail and I'll return some tips to you.

(Lush Handmade Cosmetics gets most of its fair trade organic cocoa butter from Dominican Republic which I LOVE! You can read more about the cooperative at http://www.lush.co.uk/index.php?route=lush/lushopaedia&ingredient_id=198)


London, United...
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3,056 posts
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4. Re: Local Products

Other local supplies we buy include:


Packets of platanitos, yuca, etc..

Many local sweets - based on coconut

Presidente Beer

Casava bread

Bayahibe, Dominican...
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5. Re: Local Products

If you go on the Segway Caribe or Green Discovery tours you can buy Punta Cana Honey - 100% organic honey made by the bees on the grounds of the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation. It is delicious! But you can only find it at the Eco center where those 2 tours operate.

more info on how the honey is made here …blogspot.com/2008/09/one-persons-pest-is-an…

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351 posts
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6. Re: Local Products

Not sure if it qualifies as a "product", but Larimar, a beautiful stone something like a lighter version of turquoise, and which is found only in DR, is gorgeous. Prices for jewelry with Larimar vary widely (as does quality), but can be had for a a reasonable price. Out hotel shop had lots, and they also have a dedicated shop at the airport (which only accepts cash).

7. Re: Local Products

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