The Conquest Of Conch

The best way to cook this formidable delicacy is to show it no mercy.

Is there any ingredient that says “tropical paradise” more eloquently than conch? Just a glimpse of the sensuous coral curve of a queen conch’s lip evokes a feeling of warm sun on your shoulders and powdery white sand between your toes.

Finding conch in the wild is out of reach for most of us but, fortunately, there are conch farms working to make the expensive delicacy more readily available. Launched in 1984, the Caicos Conch Farm & Inland Sea Center in the Turks & Caicos Islands produces just short of a million conch each year and, in 2003, Mote Marine Laboratory scientists opened a conch farm in Key West. At that time, they said that as recently as a few decades ago there were millions of conch off the Florida Keys, compared to an estimated 40,000 when they set out to remedy the situation.

Read the entire article in the Summer 2006 issue