Like many islands in the Caribbean, conch is a staple of the food scene in Turks & Caicos. Every menu features it, and every local seems pretty fond of it. Provo is even home to the world’s only conch farm, raising the endangered Caribbean Queen Conch for wholesale consumption.
Conch appears on menus in a variety of ways, and the toughest part of a trip to Turks and Caicos is avoiding bad jokes (Dude, I’m totally conched out!). Here’s a rundown of how you’ll see conch prepared:
Cracked conch looks like fried calamari. The pieces are breaded and deep-fried, often served casually in a basket. On the side is a spicy dipping sauce made from some combination of ketchup, mayo, lime juice, and hot sauce.
Conch fritters are basically mini crab cakes and typically served as an appetizer for the table. Chopped conch is mixed with eggs, milk, four, and seasonings and then fried. The less “filling” and the more conch, the better, and the goal is to keep them light and airy so they don’t weigh you down.
Think Manhattan clam chowder, replace the clams with conch, and add a little kick of spice.
This dish is as much Indian as it is Caribbean. What amounts to a thick stew of conch and veggies is piled high on top of white rice and topped with a curry sauce, usually either with coconut milk or red pepper spice. The fries on the side? They are plantains, not potatoes.
This version of conch is cured in lime juice and served as an appetizer with veggies or on top of a salad.