The Bahamas isn’t known for its cuisine. But if you look past the rum cocktails and casino food, there’s a far gentler, more appetizing side to the country — at least if you like the prospect of tropical soul food that’s intensely reliant on the ocean. Few meals here pass without either lobster, conch, grouper or snapper, along with two or three sides including peas and rice, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, or plantains.
Conch, a vulcanized mollusk that’s rendered edible through a laborious tenderizing process, is essentially the national dish, as most folks eat some form of it at least once a day. Start with a conch salad and bottle of Kalik at Potter’s Cay, Nassau, an open-air seafood market. Bahamians harbor a deep passion for this combo, and there is no better way to start a vacation. Nassau is definitely the place to embark on a culinary tour. Here’s your guide.