The Magic Conch Shell!

Despite the title of this post, I’m not about to talk about Spongebob or Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (mad props if you guys know what I’m talking about). But I am about to discuss conches. Why would I talk about seashells? Because seashells contain animals… that I eat.

Yep, that’s right. I tried conch for the first time today! My dad has moments of spontaneity when it comes to food shopping and this time he picked up some conch meat to throw on the barbecue. Now we are not conch-cooking experts by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, we decided it was a poor decision to bbq the stuff because it turned out like seafood-jerky. Doesn’t mean it tasted bad, just that it was kind of tough to chew. In Asian cuisine, conch is typically sliced up thinly and then stir fried. It’s cooked in stews, fried, and even served ceviche style in other countries. Apparently, it comes right after escargot as the most popular edible snail.

So what did I think about the mysterious mollusk? It was pretty good! It had a really clean taste that was reminiscent of scallops. I guess that’s not surprising, but what was surprising was that it didn’t have a fishy taste. I think if we hadn’t overcooked it, it would have had a texture similar to muscles or clams. I definitely prefer it to the little fresh water snails my parents cook once in a while. I find those really rubbery and honestly think they taste like not-so-fresh clams. So if you’re feeling adventurous the next time you encounter strange sea animals, most likely to happen if you’re at a Chinese restaurant, go with the conch.

For all those Spongebob lovers who were slightly disappointed that this post wasn’t about the cartoon sea sponge, my friend Parul sent me this funny link that is very appropriate for this post and contains a little surprise 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0UTXfQWE_Q&NR=1

Photo credit: http://www.dbenson.net/photo/seadancer/conch-detail.3.jpg

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