If you have been to the Bahamas you’ve likely heard of, tried and fallen in love with conch salad. I’m sure if the Bahamas had an official national dish, conch salad would be it. Conch can be an easy meal as one conch shell is a good chunk of meat and they are a pretty easy catch. Just swim down and grab them! The question is, though, how the heck do you get the meat out of the shell? And once you get it out, what do you do with it?
When we were in Marsh Harbour everyone was telling us, “If you want to learn how to clean a conch, you have to find Showbo.” And Showbo we found! This man is amazing. He can clean a conch in under 30 seconds (we timed him!) and makes some of the most delicious conch salad and scorched conch I have tried. Instead of us relaying the process, we had Showbo make a video showing us how it is done.
Isn’t he great? When we asked him the most conch salads he made in a single day he told us 185! I can’t even imagine! Even after watching the video (over and over) and trying it ourselves we still can’t get it as good as he makes it. He did warn us, “I can give you all the ingredients but you still have to have the magic touch.” We’re still working on the magic, but we certainly are getting better at cleaning them! A fellow sailor shared a great trick that if you dip the conch meat in vinegar after you get it out of the shell it makes them less slimy to handle and clean. Works like a charm. If you have only tried conch salad or conch fritters in the states, you probably think conch is pretty gross and tends to be chewy. Have no fear, when you eat conch fresh it is incredibly tender and delicious.
Showbo can be found in Marsh Harbour in The Abacos next to Snappas Chill & Grill. During high season he is there Monday – Saturday from about 10am until the conch is gone. Showbo has dreams of exporting his insanely delicious conch salad around the world and is looking for a partner to make it happen. Contact us for more info if you are interested.