Bahamian 'Konk' Ting
Conch cravings is a hard thing to satisfy!
Conch pronounced 'Konk' like the sound, by the locals, is a much loved and treasured delicacy by Bahamians and visitors alike. Most guests of the Bahamas once they have tried conch fall in love with one or all versions of eating conch.
Conch can be cooked or eaten raw. Most Bahamians will eat it every way it can be consumed because it's like mother's milk to us. We have been weaned on it.
Dat's a Bahamian ting...
My mother even invented different types of culinary surprises, with conch.
- Conch salad 'ceviche' is a good reference if you have never had this great delicacy for yourself
- Scotch conch
- chowder, tomato based stew
- fritters, flour dough ball deep fried
- cracked, dipped, battered and deep fried
- quiche, mom's specialty
Dried or salted conch was also a way to get conch, if you used it to cook it usually ended up in some type of soup or stew. It's good and versatile.
Conch is difficult to find in the northern regions but there are some seafood similarities in squid, clams, whelks or any other mollusk you have to shuck out of a shell. But it's meat needs to be firm made up of mostly muscle, the white meat needs to be tenderized.
It is still hard to duplicate any 'konk' meal, but it is always good to try.
A authentic 'Konk' meal classic, is not complete without one of the following added Bahamian goodness.
What to drink with conch
- goombay punch
- kalik beer for drinker or a rum drink, daiquiri
- vita malt
- switcher, lemonade made in mason jars with lots of ice
- guava duff
- coconut tart
- local fruit
- Diving for conch
- Shucking from the shell
- Skinning the tough black outer flesh, bubbies, eyes etc
- Washing, with salt water, lemon or lime, to remove slime
- Scorching, this is when you use a sharp knife to cut cross hatching marking in the white flesh to loosen it up for eating or further cutting. Another method is pounding the flesh for easy dicing or cooking this is done with a meat hammer, tenderizer.
Spicing up conch is usually done with goat peppers or harbanero peppers, but hot sauce will do just as well. Actually any small fresh hot pepper will do. Just be careful!
When eating cooked conch, Ketchup has proven to be one of the best condiments to have with it although there is a Bahamian sauce that accompanies fried anything with conch made up with mayo, mustard and ketchup.
I find myself craving conch, so it is difficult to fight especially when thinking of how, no matter what it is one of the easiest local fares available all through the Bahamas, the city, Nassau, which is on New Providence Island and all the out islands included.
It's not hard to find all the fusion of the Bahamian Culture in it's food. You will see the English or British, Scottish, African, Arawak Indians, and all you can find in between these days but if you look at the historical geneology of the Bahamas you will find all types of expatriates represented in the islands for a multiple of reasons for landing there and making it home.
Raw recipes with conch are typically made the same way as cooked because they use the same types of herbs and spices, there are some variations but it basically consists of fresh conch, onion, tomato, sweet pepper, lime or lemon juice, and orange juice, salt and pepper are optional but the pepper is usually goat pepper.
The cooked foods use typically the same things as the raw, but they are typically battered, with the infusion of thyme, tomato paste or ketchup, allowing you to skip the fresh tomato.
Either way Konk is a classic among Bahamians anywhere and the craving of all things conch is a constant fight for those of us that can't find it easily.
In some areas of the states finding conch comes down to frozen conch normally imported at the seafood departments from Belize and other areas of south America and not the Caribbean, but this is not always true. It's because Queen conch can be found in these areas as well.
Eating conch happens everywhere, all day long, in the Bahamas. You can find restaurants and street vendors alike selling this delicacy along with any variety of Bahamian foods. Lots of the locals will also cook there own at home.
So you can find any number of variations because every one has their own personal flare but a classic version of any of these dishes are usually very simple.
Which in my humble opinion is the best!!!