Monday, 3 December 2012

Turks and Caicos National Dish

I recently had the unbelievable pleasure of travelling to Turks and Caicos Islands in the caribbean. Their national dish is conch, you know those giant shells that so many people seem to have and that they insist on showing you how you can blow into it to make a horrendous horn sound, ya you know the ones. Well as it turns out they are actually one of the best things I've ever eaten ugly as they are. You can find them used in almost any dish and believe me I tried quite a few different dishes as it became my new food obsession especially since really how often am I going to be able to go to the caribbean to enjoy it this fresh!

Anyway I have to say my favourite was the conch salad, that bad boy you see in the picture was our lunch caught by the crew on our snorkelling trip. It's basically a conch ceviche with peppers, onion, salt and lime juice (sorry I didn't get a picture of the salad because I was too busy making sure I got my  fare share). The conch meat is a nice and firm white meat, not at all chewy or slimy and does not have an overly potent 'fishy flavour'. The fresh flavours and the fact that it was served cold hit the spot perfectly in such a warm climate. I had conch salad from 3 different places on our trip and this was definitely the best.

I also tried the conch fritters which where my second favourite conch dish though depending where you go they could be a little on the heavy side and sometimes too greasy for my taste.

My third favourite was the cracked conch, it was battered and deep fried and served with a dipping sauce. Like the conch fritters it really depended on where you ordered it as some was overly battered and the conch was lost or in other places it was served with a cocktail sauce that was really more like ketchup. I definitely say go to Da Conch Shack if you're looking to order this.

All in all eating conch was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, yes I really am that much of a food geek :)

P.S. It does not taste like chicken...

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