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Ever Eat A Turtle?

Discussion in 'Food' started by 2sweed, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    All turtles are edible whether you find them in salt water or fresh water, or on land. They can often be seen sunning themselves along the edges of lakes and rivers. If you find them in shallow water watch out for their mouths and claws.

    Turtles are rich in fat from which the sun alone can render a clear flavorful oil, and are especially nutritious. Their blood and juices are sometimes used at sea to ease thirst.
    Kill the turtle by concussion or by getting it to bite a stick and then cutting off it's head.
    Watch out for reflex actions after it is dead.

    Then turn it over and cut the skin all around. Skin the hide down the legs to the feet which can then be easily disjointed. Now using a sharp knife or a saw or ax or even a edged stone, cut through the substance connecting the top and bottom shells and pry off the latter. The entrails can then be easily reached and discarded.

    If the turtle is a small one you can simmer it in the shell until the meat has cooked free. But if its a big one settle for cutting it into four quarters to cook.

    If you are in a survival mode it might be possible to track a female turtle back to her nest of eggs, which are usually buried in sand or mud close to the water. They do not taste like hen eggs but will be nourishing even up to the embryonic stage.
  2. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    ...Seriously? I don't eat turtles man. That is one of the few places at which I draw a clear line. Many turtles are endangered or at risk - more over many of these things are risks for salmonella. Besides which if I'm going to make a go for turtle I can expend the same or less energy going after something with more of a payoff - fish, birds, rabbits, etc.
  3. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    No one is suggesting you eat a protected or an endangered turtle. The standard turtles for eating are the red-eared sliders and snapping turtles. Never eat a box turtle, because they eat poisonous mushrooms and toxic levels build up in their livers making their meat unsafe to eat, as eating them can poison you.

    Handle snapping turtles with extreme care as their bites are very painful. To kill a snapper you place it on the ground and smack its head back into it's shell hard enough to stun it. Then cut the head off quickly. Do not leave the head laying around as do to reflexes it can still bite when dead. Same goes for the reason it's legs and tail will continue to move after it is dead due to muscle & nerve reflex action. I am going to add a video link to this so you can see how to skin out a turtle safely. Lots of people eat snapper turtles, and many make turtle soup out of them.

    If your trapping snappers or red-eared turtles to eat them it is said that you bring them home alive and put them in a container with water in it, like a childrens swimming pool or a plastic trash can, and let them stay in there for 5-7 days. That way they poop out all the stuff they have eaten and it makes cleaning them easier. When you open them up and skin them remove all the gobs of yellow fat and throw them away. If added to your soup or skillet that yellow fat has a very strong odor that can ruin your meal. Follow this link to see how to kill and skin a snapper turtle.

  4. ctechguy

    ctechguy Newbie

    I don't think I could bring myself to do this. Turtles have such a hard time as it is in our region, and most are protected. Also, food is so plentiful here that I am not aware of anyone doing this.

    Of course, I live in the 1st world, so I would expect this practice would be rare and unique here. Personally, I would only consider this under extreme survival conditions. However, I am sure there are plenty of cultures around the world that have turtle as a staple of their diet.

    Where I am from, people stop their cars to help turtles across the road, unless they are snappers of course. Some people think it's fun to run them over, which I have never understood.

    Interesting topic you have here, for sure.
  5. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Maybe that is why they are considered such a delicacy?
  6. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Personally, I would only eat a turtle in a survival mode. The process of cleaning a turtle is a bit gross and due to the fact that their delayed muscle action causes them to wiggle their legs and tail, as if they were still alive would for me be a turn-off.

    But if I was starving and all other manner of fishing or hunting for food was not productive, but a snapping turtle crossed my path, then I would prepare one and eat it. I know lots of people who enjoy turtle soup, and I tried it once as a child. It is very tasty and I can see why many people eat turtle.

    I think just knowing how to clean and cook a turtle, is very good survival knowledge. Whether you ever put the information into practice is a personal choice.
  7. bigteeth96

    bigteeth96 Newbie

    Yeah in survival mode I will eat a turtle, but I can't do that in regular camping mode... Before this thread I only though of eating turtles as something Native Americans did and then used the shells as bowls. But wow! Eating turtles.
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