We head into the island's interior, where the scenery is almost painfully beautiful and the roads merely painful. Our first stop: a traditional cassava-bread bakery called Casabe Doña Mechi near Moncíon. Dominicans love their cassava bread, a bland, crackerlike flatbread made from the starchy root of the yucca plant. To the uninitiated, it bears a textural resemblance to cheap cardboard. Still, we are determined to try it straight from the source, and we load up on not just the big, round flatbreads, which are cooked on immense griddles, but also on multiple packages of little cassava-bread curls flavored with anise. They smell yummy as they cook in the bakery's wood-fired ovens, and we are sure they will be delicious.