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Chef Eddie

orlando, fl.
sari

We heard about a BBQ place in Orlando and decided to try it. We drove into a questionable neighborhood at night. Parked and tried to decide if we were getting out of the car or just leaving. decided... Read more

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In the Bahamas, to Conch or Not to Conch?

March 10, 2016

It’s a famously overexploited, not quite endangered, species. But when conch is on every menu in town, there’s got to be a ton of ’em,...

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  In the Bahamas, to Conch or Not to Conch?

It’s a famously overexploited, not quite endangered, species. But when conch is on every menu in town, there’s got to be a ton of ’em, right? A look at that beloved Caribbean mollusk, the queen conch—and how to help protect it.

Man selling conch shells in Nassau, the Bahamas
Shell vendor on Potter's Cay, Nassau

“Are you feeling conchy tonight?” the waitress inquired with a smile when we wondered aloud about the Bimini conch linguine—a $22 Bahamian take on the traditional Italian clam dish, apparently. We were at a sports bar outside Nassau with friends and our collective flock of young kids, and we’d already had conch fritters and a conch patty earlier that day. The general consensus: Aren’t we always feeling conchy down here?

Conch is everywhere in the Bahamas. The large marine snail—technically a gastropod mollusk—represents a huge part of Bahamian culture. Their gorgeous pink spiral shells are widely peddled on beaches and near food stands. The fleshy, chewy meat shows up on just about every menu you encounter, from upscale sushi restaurants to roadside shacks to the popular Fish Fry eateries. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, it’s sliced and diced into fritters, salads, chowder, burgers, pasta, and handheld patties; it’s battered and deep-fried; it’s even scored (“scorched”) and eaten raw. In short, you really can’t come to the Bahamas and not eat the conch—it’s pretty much the national food. 

But should you be eating all the conchs? In the U.S., while it’s not listed as endangered despite recent petitions, it’s been illegal to harvest the queen conch (Strombus gigas) in federal waters since 1986, thanks to decades of overfishing...

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Coastal Yucatan
  • Poc chuc

    Attention, BBQ fiends: The Yucatán holds a special treat for you, and it’s called poc chuc. The Mayan name translates to “grill burning embers,” more or less, referring to the...

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Jamaica
  • Porridge

    Despite the tropical climate, Jamaicans love their hot, soupy breakfast porridge—but before you think, Oh, porridge, how boring, know this: In true Jamaican style, this stuff is super flavorful....

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Istanbul
  • Kaymak

    Kaymak is, simply, clotted cream, typically served with bal (honey)—but it is so much more than that. It is rich, creamy heaven in a bowl, and we are far from the first food writers to wax poetic...

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  • Chef Eddie

    orlando, fl.

    sari

    We heard about a BBQ place in Orlando and decided to try it. We drove into a questionable neighborhood at night. Parked and tried to decide if we were getting out of the car or just leaving. deci…    Read more
  • Fish Fry Surprise

    Sargento Aldea, Avenida Independencia 2120, Valparaiso, Chile

    asaricciardi

    With five weeks to spend in Valparaiso, Dave and I settled into our apartment and felt immediately at home in this labyrinthine city. The first day we walked to a market for veggies, and Dave spott…    Read more
  • Lummi Island Salmon

    Seattle WA

    jarae

    Lummi island is part of the San Juan Islands. "Lummi Island Wild Cooperative’s mission is to promote the respectful and responsible harvesting of wild salmon and to protect the environment for fu…    Read more
  • Eating and Drinking in Barcelona - My Picks

    Barcelona Spain

    jarae

    Boadas Cocktails – What grabbed my attention about this bar is that it is the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona, dating back to the 1930’s. It does not any get more authentic and Spanish than th…    Read more

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