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There’s eating, and then there are food experiences that help make a vacation memorable. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s favorite food experiences to make the most of your visit to Turks and Caicos:
1. Dive for conch. After snorkeling, diving and just plain searching for conchs on the bottom of the Atlantic, removing them from their shell and eating them al fresco makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Or if that sounds like too much work, head over to Da Conch Shack in the Blue Hills area of Providenciales for tender and crunchy conch fritters, cracked conch or conch chowder.
2. Fish fry. Leave the resort and eat like a local. Head to a casual restaurant like Smokey’s on Da Bay in Blue Hills, Providenciales for fresh island fish crisply fried and paired with cole slaw, corn, fries and bread. Many towns have regular food fests, and your hotel can let you know when and where they are going on.
3. Oxtail. This delicacy that’s slow cooked until the tender meat is falling off the bone is considered fine eating in the Caribbean. You’ll find it paired with rice and peas at places like Middle Caicos Café on Grace Bay and Hole in the Wall in downtown Provo.
4. Peas & Hominy. Back when animal protein wasn’t as affordable, the staple dish on the island was locally grown pigeon peas and hominy or corn grits. It was usually paired with “Penn On”: island slang for “depends on,” since the main meat served at dinner depended on whatever meat was caught that day.
5. Rum punch. This Caribbean favorite is a must. You’ll sound in the know if you ask the bartender to start with a local rum like Bambarra, Lucayan, or Turks Head. They’ll add orange juice, pineapple juice, bitters and grenadine to create this potent and sweet island tipple.