Make sure you get one of me ice cold drinks – It’s hot out dere!
“Now! Make sure dat when we stop that you try some conch. Dat’s a shellfish, available only in da Bahamas. Here, we locals call it Bahamian Viagra. It’s guaranteed to add ten years to ya life and ten years to ya sex life! It’s an all-natural aphrodisiac!”
Our driver, ‘Biggie’ touted. Our first stop on the city tour took us to a small street with vendors flanking us on either side of the bus. Before Biggie opened the doors, he let us know that a lady was coming aboard, who needed no microphone. Indeed he was correct. We had no trouble hearing her!!! None at all. She was there to tell us how hot it was outside and how one of her cool Bahamian specialty drinks would cool you off on such a hot day as this.
After she finished her spiel, we got off the bus. Right there in front of us, not surprisingly was a place that sold conch, fried, soup, or salad. As we had only 30 minutes, Deb and I stepped up to the counter and orders a salad. I’d had one before, long ago, and knew that I liked conch.
The lady doing then preparing was very sweet and engaging; you could tell that she loved her work. She asked me what was my name and then told me to come around the corner to see how the conch was prepared. First, she asked: if I show you how it’s done, are you going to still eat it? I said: of course!
She grabbed one of the shells and the conch retreated back into the shell in response to the movement. Did I mention that this was FRESH?!!!
She picked up her hammer, I, my camera. She adjusted the hammer, claw side toward the shell and struck the shell. Next, she took a knife, inserted it into the new opening and cut the conch free and pulled it out. Then, step by step, she have us instructions on how to remove the ‘digger’, which is used for jewelry, the eyes, the guts, and the skin, leaving a nice hunk of white meat for the salad. The rest of the pieces are used for fishing, the skin for soup. No part goes unused. I could appreciate that.
That done, she cut the meat into small cubes, added onion, tomato, juice from a lime, juice from an orange, some hot pepper, and a little salt. Then, served it up in a large styrofoam cup. Yummy!
She practically demanded that we have a beer with it and told us where to buy it. We went across the street, bought a local beer, Sands, then came back, ate our salad, talk a bit more, then we were off.
It was a pleasant 30 minutes. I could have sat there all day, talked, laughed, and had fun.