The Turks and the Caicos, located at the southern end of the Bahama chain, did not choose to join the Bahamas as a separate nation and remain dependencies of Britain. Air transportation from Fort Lauderdale has meant development of vacation homes and a few hotels on these remote, treeless islands.
An authentic Bahamian meal would include conch (pronounced conk), the large mollusk found on the sea floor, peas ‘n rice, and possibly, grouper. The adductor muscle of the conch is a major source of protein for the islands, its export forbidden by law. It can be eaten raw, after being marinated in lime juice, or as cracked conch, beaten with a cleaver to tenderize it and deep-fried.
The Bahamians, mostly descended from slaves, avoid menial work if possible. The agricultural work of producing the little sweet pineapples, tomatoes, and the few other crops that can be grown commercially is done by Haitians who are in the country illegally.
There is some resentment of whitey vacationers and some crime. Law enforcement is spotty. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Bahamas was mugged and robbed just outside his apartment. To be on the safe side he employed a personal bodyguard.
Some of the cays are known transit points for drugs, especially cocaine produced in Bolivia, processed in Columbia and smuggled into the U.S. At least one, Norman Cay, was at one time an armed camp with machine-gun armed guards employed by the smugglers.
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