In the US, more people know these shells as the ones you hold up to your ear to listen to the ocean. Yes, they are a beautiful reminder of a fabulous vacation (or a wistful dream to hold onto) – but they once were home to an animal. And this animal makes for a very tasty treat.
Bahamas cruisers can relate to the lore of the conch. The shells are everywhere. Menus explode with conch this and conch that – most fried. The casual flinging around of terms like conch fritters and cracked conch belies the difficulty many of us find in getting the darn things prepped for cooking . . .
Ted very graciously showed me how to get the animal out of its shell and then how to clean it. Makes me almost want to try again. Or maybe it makes me want to go find Ted and have him do it for me!
CONCH SALAD. This ceviche-like dish is a refreshing way to showcase the texture and flavor of the conch. There is no heat involved, making it a perfect choice for a steamy evening aboard. Serve as is, or with crackers – but serve it fresh. The flavors and textures are unbelievable.
- 2-3 conch, cleaned and chopped into a small dice
- 1+ small onion, chopped fine
- ½+ goat pepper, chopped extra fine (watch your eyes!)
- 1 green pepper, chopped fine
- 1-2 tomatoes, chopped into a small dice
- salt to taste (optional but yummy)
- sour orange (not optional!)
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill until ready to serve. Best eaten the day it’s made.