Try Conch and Dumplings, The National Dish of Dutch St. Maarten – Travel Noire

The Dutch side of St. Maarten is a foodie paradise. The national dish, conch and dumplings, draws from African, Creole and indigenous cultures.

How Is Conch and Dumplings Made?

For seafood lovers in the Caribbean, conch is a popular, flexible food. It can be made into fried fritters, salads, chowders and soups. No matter where you are on the island, you can get it in all of these forms.

If you’re going to make the national dish yourself, here are some steps you should follow:

  • Prep the dumplings. They usually are made with flour, sugar, salt, butter and vegetable oil. Use water to help make the dough easier to knead. Roll the dumplings into golf-sized balls, but the shape is up to you. Then, put them aside.
  • Clean the conch. You may consider incorporating lime or lemon juice to lessen the fishy smell. Use a rolling pin or your hands to make the conch pliable.
  • Put the conch in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes. When it’s tender, dice it into small pieces, and put them back in the pot. Add the dumplings in and let it cook until it’s paste-like.

The dish is intended to be eaten hot with vegetables, rice and johnnycakes.

Where You Can Enjoy This Dish

One restaurant that serves this delicacy is Nowhere Special in Simpson Bay. This restaurant not only offers conch and dumplings, but other favorites. At night, it takes on more of a club vibe with live music and bartenders.