Story and photos by Sandra E. García
The name sparks the imagination.
Is it a major ecological destination in the Andes? A new Nike high-top? Or one of the long lost members of The Avengers?
Keep it far more local, and you’ll find that the name, derived from a neighborhood in Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, is, in fact, a much more accessible treat – in the form of a dish that speaks to thick layers of abundant flavor.
Found in local shops and restaurants that specialize in Dominican fare, the yaroa is a dish made primarily with the mash of a root vegetable or tuber, usually plaintain or yucca. The mash, slightly salted, dense and chewy is layered with lines of richly seasoned strips of pork, chicken or beef – or you can opt for all three meats.
The entire dish is then topped with a hearty topping of melted mozzarella cheese.
Think of it is a mini-casserole, or even a Caribbean lasagna.