Friday, May 21, 2010

Toheroa Soup

The last Toheroa season was in 1981 - due to a crash in the Toheroa population.

However, 1992 Maori authorities have been handing out permits - mainly for gatherings.

It seems like much time has passed since you could buy a can of "TIKI" condensed soup - what luxury. Now you will only see the TIKI lable in a museum.

I personally have not had Toheroa Soup since I was a kid - when there was the last season on Waikanae Beach. Before that I think it was Waiterere Beach.

It was an exciting time I remember - the weather was wild grey and windy - and there was quite a surf.

Still hundreds of people turned up for the Toheroa hunt.

My dad caught two and I managed to find one.

It is very exciting - basically you find the marks of the Toheroa on the sand - then you dig dig dig. The Toheroa senses its impending capture - and using its large tongue tunnels quickly and deeply.

Sometimes they escape - sometimes they don't.

When I found mine - an elderly man helped me dig it out - it was quite a chase - not helped by the incoming tide. One thing I did notice was that the Maori families caught way more Toheroa than anyone else. They seemed to hunt in packs - when one person found one they would all dig in a circle and often catch several more.

My mother made a chowder from the Toheroa - I cannot remember what it tasted like - but it was certainly a soup with a reverence.

1 comment:

Iesha said...

Yes, I remember this label. My Dad raved about this soup and I found a can in a deli in St. Kilda, Melbourne when I was in my 20s. I took it home and warmed it up - it was just as wonderful as he claimed. Mary.