Bahamian cuisine is very unique. Well-established favourites were the result of having to make the best of what was available, and then making it palatable. Thyme and hot peppers grow wild and abundant and as such have found their way into the daily preparations of Bahamian food. The sea provides a rich assortment of fish, shellfish and mollusks; the land the vegetables and seasonings and the famous land crab, but what is probably the most famous Bahamian dish of all is Conch. Specifically, Queen Conch.
Andros is famous for its land crab and the recipes that resulted are incredible! Crab and Dough, Crab and Rice, Crab Fritters, and so on. If there is a way to prepare land crab, Androsians have done it and done it to perfection!
Peas and Rice, Pease Soup, Souse (varieties include chicken, sheep tongue, pig feet), Johnny Cake, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Duff (pineapple, guava, mango, passion fruit), Fire Engine (now this is truly Bahamian!), Tuna and Grits, Conch Salad, Scorched Conch, Stew Conch and Stew Fish, Boil Fish, and Grilled Lobster are just a sample of what Bahamians love to eat and eat plenty of!
The old men will tell you that crab and conch will keep you ready and willing no matter what your age! Well ok, they're not all old – ALL Bahamian men believe this!
While crab and conch might be an aphrodisiac, we love them purely for the taste. There is nothing quite like fresh Conch and cleaning it is quite an art. Its great fun to be at the dock when the fishermen are trash talking each other and having a friendly competition to see who can clean and prep a conch the fastest. They are skilled with a machete, and can slam together a fresh conch salad right in front of you. A well cleaned, salted and chopped conch together with sweet green pepper, tomato, onion, hot pepper and sour orange results in a delicious dish that you will keep coming back to the islands. Wash it all down with a frosty Kalik or Sands Beer and you're ready to go!
If beer isn't your thing, how about an ice-cold cup of Sky Juice – a heavenly concoction of gin and coconut water that is legendary for good reason! Many musicians have sung its praises and many an unsuspecting tourist has staggered away from the fish fry after unwittingly over indulging in this tasty beverage.
Recipes for all of these dishes will gradually be making their way onto the Bahamas Guru site and we encourage you to try all of them. But if you are of a mind to be diet conscious, we must warn you – there is a good chance that you will become addicted to our food and we will not be held responsible for weight gain!