If you finish up your trip without trying Queen Conch–the islands’ trademark delicacy–have you really been to Turks and Caicos? One of the best ways to learn about the vibrant indigenous culture in Turks and Caicos is by tasting it for yourself, in the form of queen conch.
WHAT IS QUEEN CONCH
The unique shell Strombus Gigas, indigenous to the TCI, is an integral part of our islands’ culture and cuisine. The Queen Conch traces its history back thousands of years to the islands’ original Taino-speaking population, who employed them both as tools and decoration. With its vibrant, colorful hues, shimmering exterior, and protein-rich, unique taste, it is easy to see how this island staple remains in high demand.
WHERE TO GRAB A BITE
Eager–or perhaps a little nervous!–to try out islands’ speciality dish? Luckily for you, local chefs are exceedingly creative: from raw conch salad, to chowders, fritters, etc.There’s an option for every taste bud or flavor profile. For your first time, we highly recommend Da Conch Shack, a lively, scrumptious spot frequented by tourists and locals alike. Searching for some authentic, fresh conch salad? Head to Mango Reef for a relaxed, beachside bite. For a more high-end experience, look no further than Seven, a classy restaurant and two time winner of the TCI’s annual Conch Festival cook-off.
HEAD OUT ON THE WATER
As delicious as fresh Conch can be, there’s no better experience than getting out there, and discovering the treasure troves of Conchs shells that lie across stretches of white-sand beaches and hidden inside colorful barrier reefs. If you’re interested in going beachcombing, you’re sure to discover some spectacular finds in Pine Cay, Fort George Cay, Salt Cay, Malcolm Beach, and Pelican Beach. Check out our tour packages below to browse charter boat and ‘ski tours, and head out to these locations to take home an authentic, natural souvenir.
TCI QUEEN CONCH FAST FACTS
Cut correctly, the conch shell can be used as a powerful horn!
Queen conch most commonly feeds on algae + seagrass
Loyalist settlers once ground & burned shells to use as concrete in construction projects
Caicos Conch Farm is the world’s only organization of its kind