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Date: 26 November 2014. Cuban Conch Chowder.

Of late I've been more than a little nostalgic for the days of my youth.  Growing up aboard a 40'er in an age when few children were aboard did at times become lonely. Reading of course helped and my folks taught me to read when I was quite young. Thus entertaining myself was simply a matter of opening a book and visiting other worlds.

Mostly though I played by myself things like Pirates and Indians. Having my own dinghy was the ticket to freedom and exploration. Fishing took time too and where the waters were clear there was always conch to be hunted. I love conch.

One year we were anchored on the south side of an island and I scored a few of the delicious, albeit tough critters. After Daddy removed them from the shell it was my job to pound the meat into submission. Conch is sweet, but tends to be very chewy.

All these decades later I still have the same mallet. It was old then, but when you take care of stuff...

Winter at below the 25th latitude tends to be warm and that particular Thanksgiving we were celebrating with new friends. Mother's chowder was the main dish, er, pot. It was well received too I might add.

Cuban Conch Chowder


It's been years since I've made conch chowder so let me share with you a recipe from one of my cookbooks, Conch Cooking.  This is an adequate starting point.


Now, let me tell you what's wrong with that recipe:

  1. Use conch of course, quantity dependant upon number of folks joining. Pound first, then grind or chop into small bits.

  2. Canned tomatoes are not a favorite. We use fresh tomatoes. Sometimes we'll supplement with diced in a can but only by necessity.

  3. Add lots of onion, a couple of green peppers, and there's no such thing as too much garlic.

  4. We did not use salt pork. Instead, we added some Portuguese sausage called chorizo.

Chorizo is a spicy sausage and will add fire to your conch chowder. For a bit less bite you might select linguica. Linguica is much milder. As for me, I prefer the spicier option.

Serve with freshly baked bread for dipping.

You're sure to have many satisfied palates at your table with such a meal.


Cuban conch chowder was on the menu one memorable Thanksgiving many decades ago. I share the recipe and my memories with you today and wish you a happy scrumptious holiday meal.

Happy Thanksgiving from my Seaweed to you and yours.

What's on the menu at your place this Thanksgiving?
And who are you sharing the holiday with this year?


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