Whenever I travel, I try to experience a place like the locals do. Not to mention, I am a sucker for delicious food. So a foodie tour is often a great option for experiencing a city or country as a local and trying out those small spots that may be off the radar. So when I ventured to Turks and Caicos for some R&R, the first thing I researched was foodie tours, and I found the lovely Taste of TCI Food Tours Turks and Caicos.
The company is owned by Sheniqua, a local who grew up on the island. In addition to running a cab service, she takes visitors around Providenciales to experience the local fare. By the end, we were so full we couldn’t even eat the food from the last stop until the next day. (To preserve her tour, I am omitting the names of the restaurants we sampled… well, I should say ate at because some of the stops were full meals LOL).
Stop 1: Conch Chowder
Our first stop on the tour was for conch chowder. Sheniqua explained to us that traditionally the conch chowder was more of a red sauce and that relatively recently, they had started doing a cream-based chowder. At this stop, we would be having creamy chowder.
This cup of soup was absolutely lovely. The chowder was creamy with good-sized chunks of conch, which was very fresh (more on that later at stop three). The soup itself was flavorful and light but not too rich. It was the perfect appetizers to start our foodie day. We enjoyed our soup, sopping it up with our garlic break, took some pics, and headed off to our next stop.
Pit Stop: Beautiful Beach and Oceanfront
On the way to the next stop, we got to see some of the island. We visited a cute little beach for photo opps and fresh breezes. Sheniqua, as she was taking us around the island, described the different areas we were traveling through as we went.
We stopped at this one little beach stop that was perfectly meant for me. An oversized chair with travel directionality signs. We took a minute to take in the breezes and the beach before heading to our next foodie spot.
Stop 2: A Whole Dang Fish
At stop two, we each had a whole dang fish. This was the fresh fish stop of the trip, and it was magnificent. We each had a different type of fish. I got grouper with mac-n-cheese and absolutely fan-freaking-tastic plantains on the side.
The fish was so dang fresh it was ridiculous. It just flaked away from the bones and was so tender. The restaurant also served this bomb.com hot sauce with the fish that took it to a whole another level. I wish I had purchased some of this hot sauce because I would definitely carry it in my bag everywhere I went. And I am not overly accustomed to dealing with a whole fish body, but that did not slow us down one bit. We polished this dish off with the quickness.
Stop 3: Conch 3 Ways and a Cool Demonstration
Stop number three is where the magic happened! Before visiting Turks and Caicos, I had eaten conch before. In all honesty, I wasn’t impressed. It was gummy and lacking in flavor.
I learned that I had been eating conch all wrong at stop three. We took our shoes off and trotted across the beach as one of the restaurant employees ventured out into the shallows of the ocean and gathered some conch right out of the water. He then demonstrated how to kill and clean the conch. It was kind of gross, since the outside of conch is kind of slimy, but then I saw the fresh conch meat that would be used to prep our meal.
I had been eating conch all wrong. The employee and Sheniqua explained that if conch is rubbery, then it has been frozen at some point. Fresh conch doesn’t have that texture or consistency.
So at stop three we had conch three ways: conch salad, conch fritters, and fried conch. It was sooooo much better than I could have imagined. The food was fresh and well seasoned. This was, in addition to the lovely conch salad I had a couple of days later, the best conch I had tasted. I am now a conch believer.
Stop 4: Curry to Go
Stop four was a hole in the wall to-go spot. We stopped and placed orders to pick up for later. Clearly, we couldn’t take in any more food. I ordered a curry chicken with rice and plantains.
When we circled back after stop five, we noted that the bag was super heavy. We realized why when we went to eat later that evening. The containers were stuffed to the brim of chicken wings and rice and peas and plantains. The curry was sweet with just a little bit of a kick. It was a perfect end to our day.
Stop 5: Rum Tasting
But before we were finished, it was rum time. No foodie tour in the Caribbean would be complete without a stop for rum tasting. And taste we did. We tried a white, a reserve, and dark rum. I got three bottles of rum for the journey home and a number of bottles of jerk chicken sauce. Yep, I got the full flavor of the islands.
Taste of TCI Food Tours Turks and Caicos
The Taste of TCI Food Tour was absolutely fantastic. You get the opportunity to explore the island, drink rum, and eat at the local favorites. We truly felt like we got a taste of the island, with food ranging from curry chicken to fresh conch to rum to a whole fish. Sheniqua is clearly knowledgeable about the island and has a great report with the restaurants she has chosen. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Providenciales.
We received a media rate for this tour, but all opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.