Get saucy in the islands with a Bahamian stew, souse or boil
May 16, 2017
To choose one or to choose them all: that is the question
It's always the right time to eat a Bahamian stew, souse or boil. Get to know the local food lingo so you don't miss out on tasting one of these saucy soups that are staples of Bahamian cuisine. You'll find these options on many Bahamian menus, particularly in the morning, and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Boil fish is a brothy fish soup that is usually prepared with a meaty Bahamian fish like grouper or hogfish. It is a complete meal with potato as its starch. The rich broth gets its flavor from the slow-boiled fish steeped in onions, pepper and lime.
Bahamians are undecided about when a soup becomes a souse and when a souse becomes a soup, so be forewarned if you wade into the debate. Bahamian souse comes with many types of meat options, including Bizzare Food worthy meats like sheep tongue and pig feet. The most common version of Bahamian souse is comparatively tame and banal in its meat choice, but equally as tasty. Chicken souse is a brothy soup near identical in its composition to boil fish with the added seasoning from allspice cloves.
Stew conch is like a thick and creamy soup. Dry conch is often used as a secret ingredient to infuse the rich seafood flavor. It is added while the fresh conch is boiled down with onion, garlic and other spices. Crushed boil potatos and a roux is mainly used to thicken the stew and give it body.
The fish in stew fish is first fried and then cooked down in a rich and flavourable stew. Traditionally it doesn't have a lot of hearty extras like other stews, but you can find homechefs that add special fixings, like lobster and corn or other vegetables. Stew Boil is a combination of stew fish and boil fish.