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Nov 15, 2009 03:16 PM

Scungilli/conch in New Hampshire?

I just got what is supposed to be the definitive conch fritter recipe, but can't find any conch aka scungilli.

. I used to alway stock up on it frozen in North Haven but don't get down that way anymore.

Anyone have any suggestions? i think I might almost be desperate enough to settle for canned.

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  1. I've seen Marketbasket (at least the one in Concord) stock it

    2 Replies
    1. re: wongadon

      Market Basket had some bags of freezer burnt chopped conch a year or so ago, but it seemed to be one-time thing, and they have not had them since. Is this what you mean, or do they have something else? My local Market Basket does not.

      Re Busycotypus or Strombidae, beggers cannot be choosers, and they are close enough that either will do. A number of suppliers seem to use the names Conch and Scungili interchangeably, putting both names on the same product!

      Market Basket
      RR 1, Rockland, ME 04841

      1. re: giantmouth

        Yep, that would be the item in question - beggars/choosers ;-)

        For some reason I think I've seen conch at Saigon Market in Manchester - probably hit or miss, you could try calling first.

    2. Without taking this too far afield and having it pulled from the New England board, scungilli and conch are not the same thing. While I don't have your "definitive" recipe, conch fritters tend to be a Florida/Caribbean thing, where the conch is from the Strombidae family. Scungilli, at least in the Italian-American usage is a whelk, from the Busycotypus genus. I know it's often referred to as "conch", but that usage is incorrect. I have no idea about the cooking characteristics of either, and whether they may be interchangeable, but they do tend to be prepared differently.

      1. Where are you in NH? I would check Stop and Shop Italian section for canned. Where in No. Haven do you get frozen...funny enough, I could have written your post, I live in NH, but visit No. Haven often. I may be able to help!

        9 Replies
        1. re: solargarlic

          Place I used to get it was on Washington Ave, don't think it is there anymore.

          But Saigon market seems like it is probably the hot tip - too far for just that, but I'll check it out next time I am that way.

          Concord Beef and Seafood, who I have heard nothing but good about, says they can get me Scungilli, but only frozen in a 5lb bucket for about $12 a pound. Which, if necessary, I will do, shouldn't be hard to use up 5 lbs of the stuff. But I will try Saigon first.

          1. re: giantmouth

            Thank god there is Google to define Conch. The Italians use the word snail as Scungilli as sliced snail meat used in salads but they have to be steamed until tender then completely cleaned SO if you need defination go to Wikipedia. LOL.

            1. re: Frank Terranova

              I wholly agree - if I don't like their definition I just change it!

              BTW today on Huff Post there was a thing about the wierdest canned food. There among the fried brains and roadrunner (as in BEEP BEEP) meat was canned baby conch (also described as scungilli). Huh? Maybe not mainstream, but weird......?

              1. re: giantmouth

                Your right Giant. Interesting thing in the food business is that its all about marketing now so things like napoleon was layered pastry now its anything layered from Raw Tuna, Veggies, Creme Brulee is now Foie Gras Brulee, Mignons of Veal,Lamb etc its all about fooling the public. Then there is the world of steak houses Capitol Grill and Longhorn same beef just marketed differently. Snails,scungilli same thing what sounds more to market on a menu, Snails or Scungilli just like Escarot. But its all fun

                1. re: Frank Terranova

                  Well, scungilli and escargots are, as I presume you know, completely different biologically and not interchangeable culinarily. We tend to use the word "snail" very imprecisely, for pretty much anything in a semi-open shell. But escargots live on land, and scungilli (aka whelks) live in the water.

                  Can we try to be precise?

                  1. re: Gin n Tonic

                    Not so sure about that. While zoologists and linguists can quibble all they like, for our purposes the ultimate arbiter is the mouth. I finally made a batch of conch fritters. but using quahogs for lack of anything better, and they were pretty damn good so I guess that means that quahogs and conch are "culinary interchangeable".
                    And I used to know an old timers who swore that clams and potatoes must be related, as he dug both of them using the same rake.

                    1. re: giantmouth


                      Here is the best site to purchase anything in seafood you want its a NJ company fresh Conch runs from Nov 1 to April 30 you can get it at this time its expensive but worth it as have made Conch Chowder and Conch Fritters recipes I picked up in Key West Fl. One thing about this site its fun people are fun to work with I used to use Providence Palate but not worth the effort.

                      1. re: Frank Terranova

                        Wow! Not cheap, but they sure have the stuff. Makes me feel like a buddy who went to a real oyster bar for the first time and ordered a dozen oysters. "What kind of oysters?" he was asked.
                        "You mean they have kinds?" he replied, astonished.

                        1. re: giantmouth

                          LOL that's fantastic...

                          You could also try Browne Trading in Portland ME for special order

                          Browne Trading
                          260 Commercial St, Portland, ME

        2. They have a 5lb frozen package of Conch meat at Saigon Market in Manchester for $59.