Three Ways To Enjoy A Turks & Caicos Favorite
By Elisha Jennings
If you’re planning to visit or have visited the Turks and Caicos Islands, one of the ways you can experience the authentic culture for the islands is through indulging in our local culinary offerings. The Turks and Caicos Islands does not have a national dish, however, we have a number of traditional dishes. Each Sister Island in our chain is known for a signature traditional Turks and Caicos Islands dish which holds cultural significance to that island.
One of the most beloved dishes throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands is conch (pronounced konk). Conch is the sea snail that is derived from the queen conch shell that can be found throughout the islands and is even featured on the Turks and Caicos Islands flag.
Islanders and visitors enjoy conch prepared in a variety of ways including chowder, curried, scorched and stewed. Here are just three of the most popular ways to enjoy one of the traditional dishes of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Conch salad is prepared fresh using raw conch, peppers, onions, tomatoes, among other ingredients, all combined to create a flavorful fusion. This dish is commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or as a refreshing snack while boating or at one of our award winning beaches. Restaurants like Da Conch Shack and Buglaoos offer patrons the unique opportunity to have your conch salad prepared right in front of you – from the sea to your plate.
Cracked conch is often compared to calamari and is packed with flavor. The conch meat is tenderized and then lightly battered with flour then deep fried. The golden-like strips are best paired with our local peas and rice. Visit Flamingo’s Café or Froggie’s On The Beach to enjoy cracked conch, or conch in all its delicious forms, paired with a cold ‘I Soon Reach’.
Perhaps the most popular conch dish in the Turks and Caicos Islands is conch fritters. You can find conch fritters on almost every menu throughout the islands. The batter with minced conch is deep fried and served with a signature zesty sauce which brings out the flavor of the dish. Fresh Catch and Crackpot Kitchen serve up conch fritters daily and are perfect spots for a delicious and authentic meal in paradise.
The Turks and Caicos Islands has hosted an annual Conch Festival every November for over 15 years. The conch shell is also repurposed into souvenirs such as key chains, lamps, picture frames, etc. that can be purchased from local craft makers.
Looking to satisfy your conch craving? Click here to browse the bars and restaurants to complete your dining itinerary for your vacation.