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Pictured is a Snapper Turtle

Click here for my Turtle Soup Recipe with helpful photos

Turtle makes an awesome soup, I have shared my recipe above. But some Mountaineers like to eat their turtle boiled or fried as pictured when clicking here.

 

HOW TO DRESS A TURTLE

So snapping turtle is the type of turtle we eat here in WV. Although there are more than 50 species of fresh water turtle only about a half dozen of the species are caught for market in important quantities. Practically all kinds are edible, but the main reason for nonuse of turtles is the lack of knowledge of HOW to dress them. People are also afraid of them.

“the first step in dressing is removal of the head. This can be easily done in the case of the snapper turtle by causing it to snap at a stick. I grasps the stick with super hold and the head can be pulled forward. Other species of turtles can be made to stick their neck out so to speak by applying pressure with the foot to the back or upper part of the shell. After their head is out well stretched enough you can  cut the head off.

 

the Fish an Wild life Service describes the dressing of a turtle as follows:

Run a sharp knife around the edges of the skin where it joins the shell.

Pull back the skin over the legs to the feet which are then disjointed.

The lower part of the shell or plastron is then removed by cutting through the bridges which join the upper and lower shells, cutting close to lower part of the shell.

With snapper turtles and soft shells, the bridges are rather soft and cartilaginous, and can be done with a sharp  knife. But with the Terrapin, the bridge may be cut with a hatchet or saw.

Having cut the bridges, the plastron, (or under shell) may be removed by inserting a sharp knife just under it and lifting it off.

This done, the entrails may be extracted with very little trouble. And the four quarters easily taken out from the carapace or upper shell.  If one wishes to save the tenderloin in the upper part (or ceiling) of  the carapace, the ribs may be cut with a hatchet.

This may seem to be a lengthy and complicated process but it is actually simpler than killing, plucking, and drawing a chicken.

make sure to get all fat off of meat, the fat is very strong and has a odor.

 

 

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