A little about Queen Conch. This common mollusk is nothing more than a slow-moving long-lived marine snail. Another description says; Conch a gastropod, a soft-bodied type of mollusk that is protected by a very hard shell. This invertebrate (animal without a backbone) is found in warm shallow waters in grass beds. Conchs are eaten by many animals, including rays and people. The beautiful shell, often lined in pink, once cleaned and polished is collected and or used for jewelry. The shell can be up to 1 foot (30 cm) long. The lip of the shell is flared with spiny ridges to deter its many predators.
Being in the mollusk family, the conch too produces pearls which frequently comes as a surprise to most folks. Often the meat is removed from the shell, cut and trimmed without examining the remains for pearls. Shown is a picture of such beautiful pearls. When in Marsh Harbour, stop by the Conch Pearl Galleries. You'll find jewelry made of conch pearls along with other local arts and crafts.
Eating Conch/In the Bahamas Conch is generally served five ways, conch fritters, cracked conch, and conch burgers, all of which are fried. The two non fried items are conch chowder and my very favorite, conch salad. Many small grocery stores have cups of conch salad out on their counters in the morning which are gone by noon. Its served in a plastic cup with a spoon like a dixie cup. Each vendor has their own way of making their marinade for this delicacy. I have been known to go on a conch salad tasting, hopping from vendor to vendor and trying quite a few. Want to know more?
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One of my favorite things to do in the Abacos, is sampling the Conch Salad. It is this mans very favorite food in the Bahamas. It's refreshing, non fattening and tasty. The prime ingredients are conch (obviously) tomato, onion, celery, cucumber and sometimes Green Pepper. To this they add a little line or sometimes orange juice, plus for spice worcestershire and or tabasco sauce. It's all finely chopped up and served in a cup with a spoon. It's better than Ice cream. Each vendor or shop makes it their own way and likewise each varies slightly in taste from one to another. One of my favorite spots is the street vendor you will see just a few hundred feet to your right when leaving the Conch Inn and just past and next to Mangoes Restaurant in Marsh Harbour. His stand that has been there for years. Get your self a pint. It's also sold in the New Plymouth markets and usually off the shelves by mid morning. We've found only two restaurants that have this as a regular item on the menu: The Wrecking Tree on Green Turtle and the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay (dinner only). I'm sure there are others too.