Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seafood Sin – Cracked Lobster at Nippers

Continuing my chronicles of eating across The Abacos, I have to share one of my culinary transgressions. Our boat made a required overnight anchorage at Great Guana Cay the home of an illicit watering pit called Nippers. Nippers has been referred to as a place where otherwise mature people re-live their spring break memories (or create new ones). Judging by the number of drunk 60+ year-old people dancing red-faced in any clear and open space, I could see where they get the reputation.

I’ve heard stories of wilder times during concerts by Caribbean megastar, Barefoot Man. His music plus the diesel powered cocktails drove people who were likely someone’s mom or grandma to strip down to nothing and create havoc in the bar-side pool. I was with J the BF’s family, so there was sure to be no nudity on our part (though I've heard rumors that a member of our party relieved himself in a not-to-friendly place later that night), but we were enjoying liberal quantities of the signature cocktail, the Nipper along with the breathtaking view of the Atlantic breaking on the rocky beach below. My only sin was of a gastronomic nature – fried lobster.

My Southern roots compel me to enjoy most every seafood battered and fried. With my expanding waist, I’ve learned to appreciate a simple and well-grilled fresh fish fillet, but my heart desires the standard bar treats of the Islands – fried fish fingers, conch fritters and anything else that can be served crispy and breaded. In the Bahamas, “cracked” generally means shelled, coarsely chopped, battered and fried. In seeing they had “cracked lobster”, I just had to know. Could two forms of decadence be successfully combined?

My cracked lobster came with a mayo based sauce and a fruit chutney-like dipper as well as cole slaw and fries. To my disappointment, the cracked lobster, while good, was terribly less enjoyable than simply well-cooked lobster with a little butter (which we did for dinner the following evening). It was pretty similar in flavor to cracked conch or anything else battered and fried. Lesson learned - if you love your lobster, down deep fry it - it's not worth it.

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