To “fritter away” means to work down to nothing, a little bit at a time. That’s why it is also the perfect word assigned to fried batter that is sometimes, but not necessarily cooked around a meat or vegetable. Eating a basket of fritters in the equivalet of eating thousands of calories of fried delicious nothing.
Living in the panhandle of Florida, I am bombarded with fritter temptation. Of course, Italians, French, Germans, they all lay claim to putting some form of breading in hot oil. You’ve got your beignets, loukoumades and pakotas from other cultures, but here in this unique South that is mixed with Florida’s seafood culture, it don’t need a name. Just cake some fritter batter on it, and fry it up.
Now, I like to think my experience with the fritter makes me a bit of an expert. That being said, in all my frittering years, the very best thing you can coat that cakey batter around to destroy your health, as well as your night’s sleep due to acid reflux, is a conch fritter. If you’re not familiar, a conch is that giant sea-snail that people buy the shell of when they go to the Bahamas and Florida, and the one that the steriotypical native is shown blowing like a horn in the tourist ads. Conch meat is chewy, and kind of sweet, like many other of its shelled brethren from the deep. If you’re curious to try it, look for it next time you go for sushi, because it can be served raw. The sushi restaurants do have it here, but I guess that doesn’t mean it’s going to be available at Shiro Shiro on Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
These particular conch fritters were purchased at Calico Jacks, in Tallahassee. If you are passing along I-10 in the future and have a spare 10-minutes to hop off and swing in, I highly recommend them! The rest of the food in the restaurant is pretty good too, and the waitresses are usually pretty, even if they do all kind of look like they rushed straight to work from a day at the beach. The fritters are amazing, though. They have a slight bite to them, and even though they give you dipping sauce, it is not needed because they are so moist!
On National Fritter Day, as they in these parts, “You need to go get chu some!”
See you Wednesday for National Cookie Day.