Fish Fry – Food In The Bahamas: It’s Daiquiri, Conch Time!

by Sandra Foyt on October 3, 2011

in Food Adventures, Travel Ideas

A tropical drink is almost a requirement on a Caribbean vacation.  In the Bahamas, this has inspired a plethora of exotic concoctions with fanciful monikers: Bahama Mama, Love Boat, Goombay Smash, and Seeing Double are just a few.

Even the underage crowd enjoys the non-alcoholic tropical drinks, especially the daiquiris that taste like iced tropical fruits.  Our favorite?  The Mango Daiquiris from The Twin Brothers Restaurant in the local hang out, Fish Fry on Arawak Cay.

Going To The Fish Fry

Our new Bahamian friends, two girls who we met working at The Atlantis on Paradise Island offered to introduce us to Bahamian cuisine at the Fish Fry, a row of seafood restaurants in Arawak Cay. (Note that the Bahamian fish fry is not to be confused with our own fish fry in Albany. One is a place, the other a delicious local specialty in Northeast NY.)

We piled six people into each of the girls’ 5-seater cars, seat belts optional.  I was in “Choco Babie”, as the car proclaimed on its windshield decal; a sweet ride, but it couldn’t keep up with the other car.

Every few minutes, our driver’s cell phone shouted, “It’s Peanut Butter, Jelly Time,” signaling that our friends in the other car were checking up on us.

It’s a catchy tune, but, here in the Bahamas, it should have been, “It’s Daiquiri, Conch Time.”

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Our friends made early reservations at the very popular Twin Brothers Seafood & Steakhouse to beat the local crowd that converges after the race tracks let out.  Even so, it was a boisterous setting with competing loudspeakers from at least three clubs, including the popular Cricket Club.

Comfortably ensconced on the balcony, we could hear the music and see the gathering crowds.  We could almost imagine what it might be like to visit the Bahamas during Junkanoo, when bands “rush” Nassau’s streets.

But we weren’t there for the music, or the party, or even the “down home atmosphere.”  We were there for the “Down Home Food.”

Conch, Conch, and more Conch

Early in the day, Kayla visited the touch tank in Atlantis’ mythical “archeological ruins,” The Dig, where she handled a real, live, conch.

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Later, when sampling the Conch Salad, with seasoned raw conch, I couldn’t help but remember the live conch in the touch tank.  But this didn’t stop me from fully enjoying the dish!

I fully enjoyed the Conch Fritters and…

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…the Grilled Conch in a foil packet filled with vegetables with side dishes of plantains and pigeon peas and rice.

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Find the recipes for these Bahamian dishes, and more, on Bahamas Recipes.

Culture Shock

Oh, yes.  I ate well, and after a day of sun and fun in the water rides, I was yawning at the table.

That was when my new friends accused me of suffering from “niggeritis.”

Okay, well, I was surprised, and possibly a little shocked.  The “N” word is usually not considered acceptable, and I’d never heard of this particular term.

Apparently, some Blacks use this to “refer to the feeling one gets after eating large amounts of food, often associated with the need to take a nap after eating.”

And, supposedly in the Caribbean, “niggeritis” is used as:

… a direct allusion to the laziness of Africans.

The dazed state of inactivity or sleep brought on by extensive over-eating, after the Trinidadian snake that devours small animals whole and lies in the same place for several days after, digesting; the politically correct or polite version is “Macajuel syndrome” of the more well-known but less socially acceptable “niggeritis”

From The Urban Dictionary.

Well, it’s not a term that I will ever use, and we ended up having an involved discussion about why this is not an acceptable word in our vocabulary.  I wanted to make sure that my children understood that it was a demeaning and inappropriate word that should not be part of their vocabulary.

Still, I guess that I should be flattered that my new friends felt sufficiently comfortable with me to even use that term.

I guess that I was blending in pretty well.  At least that’s what I choose to believe!

Conch Row: On The Other Side of the Bridge

conch_row1Don’t judge a book by its cover.

That’s the message my daughter’s Third Grade teacher drove home when she served the class chocolate-covered garlic.

Tourists crossing the bridge onto Paradise Island, home of The Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, should keep that in mind as they pass Conch Row.

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Seeing the collection of ramshackle shacks, most tourists give it a pass to dine at the over-priced restaurants that can be found on the resort grounds (and in many US malls.)

It’s a bit of a hike to walk across the bridge to Conch Row, but it’s well worth the walk, especially when you can avoid eating at a Johnny Rockets or the $46 per adult dinner buffet.

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For just $11, you can get the freshest conch, battered and fried, served up as Cracked Conch with salad, peas and rice, and a soda. Wash it down with a super-sweet Bahamas Goombay Punch soda or the local Kalik beer.

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Family Vacation at Atlantis Bahamas:

 

 

 

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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