Friday, May 7, 2010

Conch in Crisfield

Conch Salad

4 conch, cleaned; skin removed
1 small onion
1 stalk celery
½ small sweet pepper
1 large tomato
½ cup  lime juice
salt, pepper and hot pepper to taste.

 We used to spend a lot of time on Long Island in the Bahamas. The islanders cook "real" food, not the kind you find in restaurants where the tourists hang out. When you have history on your side, you know how to cook. Long Island is  kind of like Crisfield. Our restaurants know how to dish up Eastern Shore Foods. When you eat a meal at one of our many restaurants, you are getting a little tradition is each bite.

Oh, those fancy places in New York and D.C. may advertise "Maryland crab" this and that and "Maryland oysters" and yes, we ship our delicacies all over the U.S and Canada, but dollars to donuts, most of the people who do the cooking have never even been to Crisfield, so whadda they know about tradition?

Although, Crisfielders don't seem to fancy conch on a regular basis, it does come in on the boats that have been crabbing and fishing on the ocean side. I "caught" this basket of conch that came in last week. If you like conch, keep your eyes open when the boats come in, or just ask one of the seafood dealers if they can get one of our waterman to catch you a basket of conch.

I fell in love with conch in the Bahamas, mostly because they know how to do conch jerky so well, and their lime conch salad was to die for. So surf the internet for recipes, and keep your eyes peeled for another basket of these delicacies.

You want tradition? Come to Crisfield!


Barry said...

I don't think I've ever had conch, but your recipe sounds delicious

Chef E said...

WE LOVE CONCH in our house! Have not had it in a while though- Hey Gordon says hello, I was just with him for a few days at his cabin, we all went down to fish. No good fishing though, but great FL seafood!

Snooty Primadona said...

While in the Cayman Islands we had a boat captain who dove into the ocean to get the conch, cleaned it, and made it into the most delicious stew. It was wonderful!

I still have dreams about coming to Crisfield and eating seafood until I fall into a coma....

Bev said...

So, how hard is it to peel a conch? Is it one of those things that just comes naturally once you actually have one in your hands? Or is there a trick to it? I'm thinking they Charleston or Mt. Pleasant fleet might bring them in once in a while and I could pick some up there.