How to Dress a Snapping Turtle
By P.H. Delta
If you have never eaten the meat of a snapping then you are probably in an overwhelming majority of Americans. It was never served as table fare in my family home. Snapping turtle is said to have a unique similarity of flavors of a variety of meats. Some say it contains the flavors of seven different meats. Well one day I caught my first snapping turtle on a catfish jug on the lake at my old Kentucky home. My curiosity of the rumors of the similar flavors enticed me to slaughter the turtle so I might dress it for the stew pot. The second thing I did after I shot the turtle in the head was to call one of my friends to ask him how to dress it. After I got his advice I commenced to follow his instructions:
#1 Take a stick and put it in the mouth of the turtle. (The dead
turtle will lock its jaws on the stick and not let go. This prevents the
turtle from biting you while you continue to butcher it.)
#2 Get a hammer, two nails and a wooden board.
#3 Turn the turtle on its back and put one nail through the throat and
another tail through the tail. (This keeps the turtle intact while you
#4 Take a Rambo knife and separate the lower shell from the upper
#5 Everything that looks like viscera should be removed. (It may be
difficult to tell what are viscera and what is meat because it may all
appear to be viscera.)
#6 Everything that looks like meat should be cut loose from the shell.
#7 Take a hatchet and chop the feet and head from the legs and neck.
#8 Take a knife and remove the inner tenderloin from the vertebra cage
along the inside of the upper shell. (You will have a strip of white
meat that is approximately 5 inches long and a half an inch wide. This
is said to be the very best part of the turtle.
My efforts to butcher my first snapping turtle were an overwhelming
success. I lost not a finger or a thumb. I put the meat into a crock pot
and added some spices and seasoning ant let it simmer on low for six
hours. When I sat down to eat snapping turtle I began with some of the
red meat. It tasted remarkably similar to rabbit. Another portion of
the meat tasted like frog legs. Another portion of the meat reminded
me of bear meat. Overall, most of the meat was likened to fish or frog
legs. The tenderloin was fried separately and it tasted almost
identical to lobster.
Well if you have never tried snapping turtle then you don’t have to because turtle taste like anything but turtle.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapping_turtle