Thanksgiving in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos is all about the Conch! This is the time of year when the Annual Turks & Caicos Conch Festival occurs, usually over Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s 8th annual event takes place from November 25-26th, 2011 and features a weekend full of fun activities including a conch tasting competition where 25 local restaurants will compete for the most “delicious” conch in several categories that range from the Best Conch Salad, Best Conch Chowder and the ultimate prize – the Best In Show.
The Caribbean Queen conch is the native mollusk and number one export for the Turks & Caicos Islands. In addition to celebrating conch with an annual festival, the island is also home to the world’s only Conch Farm. Those who visit Providenciales can take a tour of the island’s Caicos Conch Farm, which is the only place in the world where conch are commercially grown and raised from veliger to adult. The breeding techniques in this conch farm actually help save the wild conch from extinction and over exploitation – while supplying food too many, as conch continues to be one of the major protein sources in the Caribbean diet.
The local Caribbean Queen conch is served in many Turks & Caicos restaurants including our very own Hemingway’s beachside restaurant at The Sands at Grace Bay. The “Conch Served The Way You Like It” menu option offered at Hemingway’s is a great way to experience the taste of our Caicos conch in a variety of ways, as you can choose amongst conch fritters, conch fingers or a fresh conch salad. These are all delicious and refreshing after a full day of fun under the sun. Another restaurant specialty is the chef’s conch chowder, which is a traditional spicy island recipe that is also made with fresh local conch.
Only a few minutes away from The Sands at Grace Bay is another popular beachside Turks & Caicos restaurant venue called “Da Conch Shack” – which is a laid-back, open-air restaurant and bar overlooking the ocean that specializes in conch cooked nearly every way possible – from cracked conch and conch salad or ceviche, to conch creole and even a coconut conch stew.
It’s easy to see that Turks & Caicos restaurants and locals are simply crazy for conch. Come stay with us at The Sands at Grace Bay and you’ll be sure to get hooked on this tasty island treat as well!
Check out our main website for more information on dining in Turks & Caicos at The Sands.