Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Tastes

The internet has been off as often as it has been on. So I am writing down my thoughts in Word so I can post them when the net comes back up.

New tastes….many new tastes to tickle my taste buds this vacation. Mangos…I have never liked them when trying the ones we get in the store in Idaho. They have an aftertaste like paint thinner or .something like that. But the mangos here are sweet, sweet, sweet and not a bit of aftertaste.  They have a faint taste like Papaya, but not exactly. So much better than the mangos taken green off a tree from who knows where and shipped up north.   Fresh bananas off the tree from a neighbor,  is another taste I never would have expected.

Another new taste is Conch, pronounced conk. You know those beautiful shells that the Hawaiians blow as a horn when lighting torches in tourist ceremonies. They are so common here that people use them and just throw them around their gardens. The Bahamians have used them as a staple food for hundreds of years. Cracked conch, conch fritters, conch burgers, conch chowder and finally conch salad are the main dishes they make. The first three involve deep frying, and yes I have thrown my diet to the wind to try the first one and the burger. Being deep friend they have not been my favorites, because I just don’t eat deep friend anything.   Conch chowder has no appeal when it is so hot outside that you feel sweaty after just stepping out of the shower. Chowder is a dish to have when the snow is flying, the fire is lit and you are snuggled up with some fresh sourdough, a glass of wine, and a steaming bowl of fresh clam chowder. I just went to Norma’s Take Away and got a small cup of conch salad. Not much to look at I must say, but the first taste blew my taste buds out of the water. Lime, sour orange, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes,  and fresh conch all cut up in tiny pieces. My mouth was amazed by the explosion of flavors. I guess it is a bit like ceviche which is fish that is put raw into lemon or lime juice and the acidity of the citrus cooks the fish.  When I think of any fish salad, like crab or tuna, I think of the main ingredient smothered in mayo, with green onions, seasoning, celery and maybe a few other ingredients. This was so unexpected that I was really shocked. I am in love with conch salad. It is like an amazing gazpacho, or something like that but different. We go off to Harbor Island tomorrow to try scuba diving and we were told to visit the Conch Queen restaurant and try their conch salad. I will see how different people make it differently. Can’t wait!

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