Caribbean

What is Conch? Learn About the Caribbean Delicacy

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icking up seashells on the beach was one of the best parts of going on vacation as a kid. What most people don’t know is that the super cool looking large seashells that we used to bring home are conch shells, and were home to a Caribbean delicacy! While the sea snail inside can be quite scary looking, and the idea of eating it may seem like a bit of a turn off, conch is delicious and can be cooked in many different ways. It is certainly worth a try if you are traveling in the Caribbean, or if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to cook some at home. 

Conch, pronounced “konk” is a sea snail that is enjoyed in some parts of the Caribbean. Cooking conch into fritters happens to be the national dish of Turks and Caicos! Conch is mostly enjoyed in Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. You can buy conch online, in canned form, or you can check out your local fish market to see if they sell them. One thing to note is that conch can be very expensive, especially if you are paying to get it shipped to where you live. 

If you manage to get your hands on conch, here are some recipes to try out:

Conch fritters

Conch fritters, as we talked about before, are the national dish of Turks and Caicos! First of all, if you have never visited the islands before, you absolutely need to add that to your bucket list. Second of all, if you have never tasted conch before, this is the perfect way to introduce your taste buds to it. The conch is fried with a batter full of spices and veggies, and served with dipping sauces. You can definitely taste the conch in these, but the flavor and texture are not as powerful as other dishes. We highly recommend trying this before you jump into other conch dishes! This recipe from Garlic and Zest  is a great one to try out if you’d like to cook your own conch fritters. 

Conch salad

Conch salad is typically served in small portions, as either a side or to start off a meal. This dish requires no cooking, and should be eaten fresh as it is raw seafood. There is definitely room for creativity when it comes to making this dish, but this recipe from A Spicy Perspective shows a delicious combination of veggies and conch for a refreshing salad. If you are picky with your textures in your foods, this honestly might not be the most ideal dish for you. When conch is raw, it tends to be very chewy, which can turn some people off. 

Steamed conch

Steamed conch is a popular dish in Jamaica, and is paired with several other ingredients to create a full meal. Steamed conch goes well with rice or other cooked seafood. Throw in some veggies and a lot of seasoning, and you’ve got yourself a yummy and filling conch meal. 

This recipe from This Bago Girl is the perfect blend of textures and flavors. She adds shrimp, veggies, and Jamaican water crackers to the steamed conch and pairs it with plain white rice! Are you hungry yet? 

 

Cracked conch

Cracked conch is quite similar to conch fritters, but much simpler and easier to make at home. These can ideally be eaten as an appetizer with dipping sauces, or as the main protein of a meal. For cracked conch, you do not need to blend up the conch or to mix it with many other ingredients. This is certainly for someone who loves the flavor of conch and would rather not have it heavily spiced. A great recipe to follow is this one from Uncommon Caribbean

 

Conch stew

Eating conch stew is like eating most regular stew… but a lot cooler since it’s made with conch meat! Any soups or stews can certainly be modified to emphasize different flavors or incorporate different textures, but we think that this recipe from The Family Kitchen Table is a great one to try out. This specific stew recipe calls for potatoes, cornmeal, green onions, and much more to bring out the delicious flavor of the conch.  

Conch chowder

Since we’re talking about soups and stews, now is the perfect time to recommend trying conch chowder! As you can see, This recipe from Garlic and Zest looks absolutely outstanding. This chowder is a lot thicker than the previous recipe, and also has a lot more ingredients, so it’s perfect if you would prefer a heavier base. 

Curry conch

Many people think of Curry Chicken when they think of Caribbean food, but we would like to introduce you to Curry Conch! It looks almost identical to curry chicken, but is much harder to come by and has a completely different texture. This is a very popular dish in Trinidad. If you enjoy the curry flavor, but you prefer to eat seafood over meat, then this is the perfect recipe for you! Try out this one from Cooking with Ria if you want to give it a try! This can be enjoyed as a main course with any sides, but would especially be delicious with some rice. 

Conch cheesecake

This might be the boldest dish we have ever suggested here at Crafted. While seafood cheesecake itself does not have Caribbean roots, this recipe from Caribbean Green Living gives the traditional dish an island flare by incorporating cooked conch. The conch is mixed with cream cheese, other seafood, vegetables, and spices to create a savory cheesecake. Try it out! 

Tired of reading the word ‘conch’?

Well, we can help you out! Instead of just reading a bunch of recipes, you can cook along with the creators! Crafted is a livestreaming community platform that allows you to watch and cook along with foodies from around the world. You can also take time posting recipes and engaging with other posts. If you’re hungry for more, be sure to follow us on Instagram @cookwithcrafted and sign up for our newsletter and our waitlist, too! We have been growing our Indian Cooking Club, and we are launching a Caribbean cooking community very soon. If you’re interested in learning more, want to suggest a new community, or you want to start cooking (streaming) with Crafted, reach out and we can make that happen!

Posted 
Jun 2, 2022
 in 
Caribbean
 category

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