A Seafood Lover's Guide to the Bahamas
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas contains over 180,000 square miles and is home to a wide variety of sea creatures, making it an ideal place to serve a wide array of seafood dishes. Seafood dishes are also very sustainable because, despite the fact that the country is 5358 square miles of land, the Bahamas only has a population of about 400,000, with most of the islands being uninhabited. This ensures that the marine species used are not overfished and, as a result, are not at risk of becoming endangered. Read on to discover more about the delicious seafood world of the Bahamas.
Fish Fry, located at Arawak Cay in Nassau, has the widest variety of seafood meals in the Bahamas. Fish Fry is a term used all over the Caribbean and it started with local fishermen making a living selling fish to sailors and their passengers. However, Fish Fry at Arawak Cay has expanded from this and is now a collection of over 30 restaurants. Here are some of the meals you can expect when you visit.
The conch is a slug-like sea mollusk that lives inside a large, elaborate calcium carbonate shell. Conch salad is made by removing the conch from its shell, cooking it, slicing it up and serving it with an assortment of fruits and vegetables.
Unlike most countries, ordering ‘steamed conch’ refers to a stew-like, almost Mediterranean dish. The conch is made with tomatoes, onions, lemon, thyme and usually a large amount of pepper. Traditionally this dish is served with coleslaw salad and white rice.
These tasty balls are made from minced fresh conch combined with some onion, pepper and celery, coated in batter and deep fried. Conch fritters are usually served with a cocktail sauce for dipping.
Bahamian fish chowder is a soup made from a fish of your choice, combined with celery, onions, tomatoes, thyme, cooking sherry, a bit of dark rum, lime juice and any array of flavorings. Increasingly rare, some areas of the Bahamas still serve turtle soup, however it is becoming harder to find with the turtle being placed on the endangered species list.
Native fish and crustaceans
The Bahamas is home to the spiny lobster, also called crayfish or rock lobster, but only the tail of it is eaten. For an authentic Bahamian dining experience, travelers should avoid common seafood options, like shrimp or lobster, and try native fish like grouper and snapper. They are usually prepared by being fried and served with grits or peas and rice.
Where to eat
The large number of options can make Fish Fry overwhelming for some visitors, but that’s also what makes it such a convenient way to experience the local seafood. The best way to make the most of the experience is to switch it up and try a couple different restaurants – head to one and try their suggested best meal, then move on to a different establishment that specializes in something else. Here are a some suggested restaurants for Fish Fry to get you started.
Sky Juice King – Aside for its tasty menu selections, this restaurant is known for having very good booze.
Goldie’s Conch House – This restaurant specializes in meals featuring conch, such as conch salad and conch fritters.