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Conch fritters are crisp-fried doughballs or patties with creamy insides that are dotted with chewy bits of of the sea snail known as conch as well as occasional pops of pepper. Like oceanic hushpuppies, they come alongside almost any kind of seafood or as a companion to chowder. They are popular throughout southern Florida, but especially in Key West. In fact, the conch has been so important in the culture and diet of the Bahamian-ancestored residents of Key West that they refer to themselves as Conchs and to their atoll as the Conch Republic.Harvested also for their beautiful shells, conchs are protected in U.S. waters but more plentiful elsewhere. Conch meat has long been considered an aphrodisiac.