Conch (pronounced "conk"), the firm, white, meat from an increasingly scarce ocean mollusk, is a Bahamian seafood staple, and is considered a true delicacy by those who've tried it in one of its many forms. "Show Bow", a Marsh Harbour waterfront "fixture" (right across the street from Sapodilly's Bar and Lookout), takes the preparation of Conch Salad to the streets of Marsh Harbour several days a week (his days vary, so catch Show Bow when you can!).
For the extremely reasonable sum of just six dollars, he'll chop, slice, dice and scorch up some of the best conch you'll ever find in the Abaco islands ... a little sour orange, a little key lime, a wee bit of bird pepper, a generous helping of bell pepper and onions ... and a whole lot of fresh chopped conch (the salad is easily enough for two appetizers!). After watching Show Bow prepare a salad or two, you may wonder why he still has all his fingers still attached!
Fresh, uncooked (right out the ocean) conch is delicious when properly cleaned and prepared in conch salad where the conch meat is scored (usually diced), and lime juice, sour orange, bird pepper (or goat pepper) and spices are mixed, in various proportions, with the conch. Sometimes finely shredded cabbage is also added. It can also be pounded paper-thin, breaded and deep-fried (called "cracked conch"), steamed, added to soups and stews, or made into conch chowder and conch fritters.
The cuisine of The Bahamas is never, ever bland. Spicy, subtly and uniquely flavored more than any other cuisine in the West Indies, it's relatively easy to see (and taste) the influences of the American South on Bahamian cooking.