Not surprisingly, fresh local seafood is the main staple, but you won’t find bland flavours here. The food is spicy and uniquely flavoured. Conch (pronounced ‘konk’), a large ocean mollusk, is a local delicacy. The firm, white, peach-fringed meat is widely used. It can be eaten raw with freshly squeezed lime or deep-fried, called cracked conch, or added to soups, salads, fritters and a number of other dishes. “Rock lobster”, spiny crustaceans without claws, and land crabs are other favoured dishes you should seek out. Broiled fish with grits, a reflection of the southern American influence, is another popular dish.
Pigeon peas are often served with rice, spices, tomatoes and onions. The peas can also be found in many Bahamian soups. Souse is a soup unique to the Bahamas, made with water, onions, limes, celery, peppers and meat such as sheep’s tongue, oxtail or pig’s feet. It offers a unique flavour not often tasted by visitors. Spicy food is the norm, and most meals are served with a bottle of hot sauce.
When talking about food, we would be remiss if we did not mention coconuts. Used in mains and most desserts, nothing is quite right unless it has the sweet taste of coconut.
Refreshments are tangy and offer some punch. Local beers include the light and wheaty taste of Kalikow or Sands, but if you’re in search of rum there are plenty of island favourites to be enjoyed. Try a Bahama Mama, Goombah Smash or Sky Juice. If you prefer drinks of the non-alcoholic variety be sure to try Switcher, a drink made from the refreshing local limes. It is a zesty and refreshing drink unlike any you’ve tasted.
1 oz. spiced rum
1 oz. coconut rum
1/4 oz. apricot brandy
2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. orange juice
Mix and serve over crushed ice.
1 1/2 oz. gin or rum
1 oz. of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 oz. of coconut water
Shake gin and condensed milk with ice and pour in glass. Top with coconut water. Season with fresh lime or cinnamon and nutmeg.
1/4 oz. coffee liqueur
1/2 oz. dark rum
1/2 oz. coconut liqueur
1/4 oz. 151 proof rum
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 oz. pineapple juice
pineapple or cherry garnish
Mix and serve with ice, or for a refreshing treat add ice and blend.