FAMU Homecoming 2017. Bragg Stadium. The World-Famous FAMU Marching 100 is walking off of the field, and the second half of the football game against the North Carolina A&T Aggies is about to begin. The heat is scorching, as always in Bragg Stadium, on this joyous afternoon in Tallahassee, Florida. And, there's only one thing on my mind. The Conch Man.
Every. Single. Year. I promise I have one mission after the game, and that is to find The Conch Man.
What's Conch you ask? Conch (pronounced like 'konk') is a tropical marine mollusk with a spiral shell and a flared tip. It is most popularly found in the Caribbean Sea. Conch can be eaten raw or cooked.
Conch salad is very popular at FAMU's Homecoming vendors. However, most vendors have a batch pre-prepped in huge jars for the day. The Conch Man is truly one of a kind with his cooking delivery and presentation. People wait between 30 minutes to an hour to watch the Conch Man prep and plate his conch creations LIVE. I have vivid memories of him chopping onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes with a sharp knife all while speaking to people passing by. His eyes never looked down!
The Conch Man starts by chopping onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, Conch, and peppers. Then, he seasons the mixture with salt, pepper, lemon and lime juices. Next, he plates the Conch salad in a hulled out pineapple. Last, he adds two Conch fritters on skewers on top and dashes a bit if hot sauce for added flavor.
These bad boys go $15 a pop. You have to be real hustle skills to ensure you get yours in that batch... like I did ;)
OTHERWISE, you have to wait another 30 minutes to an hour for him to prep the next batch.
The Conch is never tough. The veggies are always well seasoned. Mix it together for an explosion of happy on your palette. Until next Homecoming, I have these pictures to hold me over and my memories of my delicious conch salad. Truly, #ForTheCulture #TheConchMan.