More than 71% of the earth is covered by water and 96% of this water is made up of seas and oceans. It is little wonder then that humans have turned to the sea for sustenance for thousands, if not millions of years.
There are many delights to be found in terms of seafood and whether you like something slightly sweeter and lighter or something rich and salty, the ocean certainly has something to offer.
One popular type of seafood is conch meat. But this isn’t something that a lot of people are familiar with. While many food lovers regularly chow down on things like shrimp, oysters, and tuna, conch is one of the lesser-known types of seafood.
So, what does conch meat look like and what does conch taste like? In this article, we are going to find out.
What Is Conch?
Conch doesn’t necessarily refer to one particular sea creature but rather refers to a selection of shelled sea animals, mostly made up of snails.
However, the most common type of conch, or ‘konk’ as many people pronounce it, is a species of large sea snail that is typically found in the waters of the Caribbean, Florida, and Bermuda.
Conch is well-loved in places like Haiti, where locals call it ‘lambi’ and it is a very versatile type of seafood in that it can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on your preference.
What does conch look like?
Since there are so many species of conch, how they appear may differ, depending on where you are in the world.
For example, in Asia, countries like Japan and Korea serve seafood lovers enormous conch, whereas, in the Caribbean, you may find smaller, more delicate samples.
In the ocean, conch can be found in shallow waters and they have a spiral shell. While these creatures can live for up to ten years, they are best for eating at around age three.
The meat inside the conch shell is white with a texture that resembles chicken.
What Does Conch Taste Like?
Now, let’s get down to the crux of the matter; what does conch taste like?
Conch is not a strong seafood and has a comparatively delicate flavor which a lot of people say is very similar to crab.
Although, there may also be a hint of salmon. Conch is also quite salty, but not overpoweringly so.
The texture of the conch will vary depending on whether it is eaten raw and if cooked, how it has been prepared.
In the Caribbean, this is an incredibly popular food and as such, it is served at various street food stalls, restaurants, and in the home. Every chef will have a different take on cooking but as a general guide, conch is rubbery yet smooth.
This rubbery texture may not be appealing to some people and as such, a lot of chefs will intensely tenderize the meat before serving.
After it has been tenderized, conch becomes much softer and easier to chew.
How Do You Eat Conch?
One of the great things about conch is that it is a very versatile seafood. Foodies have the option of eating it raw in a salad, or as sushi.
But if you prefer, conch can be cooked and enjoyed with vegetables or as part of a larger seafood platter.
A popular way to eat conch is by making conch fritters. The meat is encased in breadcrumbs and can be dipped into a variety of sauces.
The most common sauce is tartare but you can choose anything that you enjoy. A lot of people enjoy conch with a squirt of lemon juice.
What kind of conch can you eat?
With how popular conch is around the Caribbean, it is one of the most fished creatures in this part of the world.
However, owing to this, in Florida, the Queen conch is now considered to be endangered. As a result of this, it is illegal to commercially fish for this variety.
While conch is widely available to purchase, there are some things you should consider when buying it. Much like any meat or seafood, if the conch is bad, this could result in you becoming sick.
When buying conch, one of the first things you should be mindful of is the smell of the meat. Conch does not have a strong fishy smell so if it does, this means that it is no longer fit for eating.
Furthermore, you should make sure that the meat is white without any grey spots, this signals that it is beginning to degrade. However, it is normal for conch meat to have some flecks of orange or pink.
Is Conch Good For You?
Foods that come from nature are typically very healthy and seafood is often one of the best foods if you are on any kind of restrictive diet. Conch is no exception.
This sea snail is packed with nutrients that make it one of the healthiest types of seafood available.
Just three ounces of conch is packed with protein; 22 grams to be precise and what’s more, the meat is very low in calories which makes it great if you are trying to lose weight or stay trim. In a single 3 ounce serving, you can expect to find just 11 calories.
You will also find that conch is very good if you suffer from headaches, this is largely because of the energy it contains in the form of carbs as well as high levels of vitamin A.
Furthermore, conch is excellent for the body in many ways thanks to the presence of Omega 3 fatty acids. These are excellent for the heart and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems as well as providing nutrients that keep the eyes and liver healthy.
Conch is a very popular food in certain parts of the world, particularly the Caribbean. Here, people get through a lot of conch, and it is not surprising when you consider the fresh, salty yet delicate taste.
This seafood can be eaten raw or cooked and one of the most popular ways of eating it is in the form of conch fritters.