The Tuatua Fritter is another kiwi classic.'
As usual I do not recommend that you buy a Tuatua fritter - I recommend that you make your own.
A Tuatua Fritter has to be bursting with the fresh shellfish.
Mostly the Tuatua is found in abundance on coastal surf beaches (if you are unsure just check the tide line for their shells!).
The technique is simply to wait to low tide and then feel around with your toes (generally in water just below your waist) for the mollascan delicacies.
I used to do this as a kid on Waikanae beach.
I remember fishing for Tuatua with a friend in the sea just to the north of the Waikanae boat club - in absolutely delightful conditions.
Fishing next to us was an elderly couple.
All was going well until the oldish lady - screamed in pain - dangling from her finger a rather nasty paddle crab. At this time there was an absolute glut of paddle crabs (25 years ago sigh!!) - as pair trawlers fishing the coast had literally decimated the crabs usual predators - the Snapper and the Dogfish.
Generally we would put the Tuatua in a bucket of fresh water overnight - so they would spit out the sand - to this day I am not really sure if they do indeed spit sand!
Then we would boil in a pot - removing them from the broth immediately the shell opened.
In terms of recipe - as usual nothing flash - make a simple batter (2 eggs plus a 1/3 of a cup of flour - add chopped parsley - juice of a lemon - some pepper and salt) - mix in half a kilo of Tuatua's - then cook in olive oil.
I am a fan of rocket - and these fritters compliment a simple rocket/Parmesan shaving salad well.
Plus a nice little side of a garlic aioli completes the scene nicely - ohh and an ice cold glass of Spy Valley Sav.