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Removing Raw Conch from the Shell

What is the best way to remove conch, raw, from it's shell? I've been the business for 20 years but have never had the opportunity to work with fresh conch. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

This has nothing to do, really, with your question, but when our children were younger, someone told them that if you sing quietly to the periwinkles at low tide, they will poke out of their shells. And there is almost nothing more endearing on earth than watching a little child sit on a rock at the water's edge, gently holding a little periwinkle shell, and humming to it quietly. And whether or not periwinkles naturally open and close their little doors when exposed at low tide or whether they enjoy little voices, the children were seldom disappointed by the periwinkles.

Ah yes, where were we? You and your conch. Here's what James Peterson has to say about removing a conch from its shell in his book Fish & Shellfish: "The traditional method for removing a raw conch from the shell is to make a hole in the spiral front of the shell in the third row from the center with a hammer and screwdriver. You then wiggle a sharp paring knife around in the hole to detach the muscle, allowing you to pry out the conch by wedging a knife under the bony disk (operculum) covering the entrance.

"I never really got the knack of the hammer method and find it much easier just to dunk the whole conch in boiling water for 3 minutes and then pull the animal out with a fork.

"Whichever method you use, once you get the animal out, cut off the operculum and scrape off the skin and intestines."

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