Lagoon Side Lunch
We ate lunch lagoon side on xmas eve. The lagoon looks like it is man made, sort of, with ocean water coming in. It looked like it was Atlantis' answer to a giant sea water pool. I personally did not go into the lagoon, but I suppose it would be good if there were small children involved. Anyway, the lunch we had, I wanted to go as "local" as possible which means eating Conch. I worked with 2 women, who went to different colleges, but both did a semester in South Caicos (differing by one year), and they both said the school they were at made them wash their clothes and sheets in the ocean, and that they were fed Conch as the main protein source everyday. They both said that they would be happy to never have Conch again. SO, that is exactly what I wanted for lunch, Conch.
My table started off with drinks. I got a pina colada and others got a local beer named Kalik. The Kalik brand is named after the sound the Cow Bell makes (Ka-lik) during the Junkanoo Parade. The Junkanoo Parade happens only 2 days per year, Dec 26 and Jan 1, from 1 am - 8 am in the morning on one of the main drags of Nassau on New Providence Island. There are floats and clubs that dress up in quite fantastic costumes. What the USA has similar is the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans or the Mummers parade in Philadelphia, although these two were born for differing reasons than Junkanoo. Unfortunately, the weather forcast was for rain, so the Dec 26 Junkanoo was postponed until after we left the island, and we just did not get to see it. Ok, there is also that I am old, and go to bed early these days, and I would have not seen much of the parade anyway.
In consolation for missing the Junkanoo parade, I opted for Conch soup and Conch salad for my lunch. The conch soup was a tomato based soup, similar to Manhattan clam chowder. I really liked the soup, it was hearty with a nice spice and chili pepper heat to hit.
The Conch salad was a lot of little pieces of Conch with tomato, peppers and lime. Very refreshing. I took up the iceburg lettuce salad off of one of my dining mate's plate to help round out this salad. I like Conch very much. Other's at my table thought the Conch was like eating pencil erasers. I liked the texture of giving me something to work for while I eat. I really liked this salad because it was so fresh! There was nothing fancy, or over done about this salad. I liked the uncomplicated, straight forward 4 ingredient - Conch, tomato, peppers, and lime because it let each ingredient's flavor come through. If I could get Conch here, I would make this dish!
The rest of my lunch mates opted for sandwiches, and here is one. This one was suppose to be a sliced steak, sauteed onions and peppers panini sandwich. I was thinking that it would be like a Philly Cheese steak, but on hearty Italian bread, and then put into a panini press. What came out was stew meat that seemed to have been stewed with onions and green peppers, on an average white bread roll. No panini, no grilled steak. I did not care for the small bite I took, but my lunch mate said it was fine. This is the plate of which I took the iceburg lettuce. The other got tuna or chicken on a chibata bread. The tuna sandwiches had mustard on them. I am really glad that I got Conch soup and Conch salad, as I think I got the best meal!
As for my former co-workers, and their adversion to Conch now... Well, I raised my fork to them, thought about their stories of a semester in South Caicos, and chewed on the Conch extra long for them. Since I have had Conch, probably less than a dozen times in my life, I could eat a whole lot more of it.