Barbecued Snapping Turtle: It Sounds Worse than it Tastes

When a friend called and invited us to dinner featuring an unusual entrée, I agreed to come and visit--but not to eat. Snapping turtle, fried or barbecued, was the main course. The huge and scary beasts that used to block our narrow dirt driveway when I was a kid sounded anything but appetizing to me.

Remembering the childhood warning that when snapping turtles "snap", they won't let go until lightening strikes, I wondered who had the nerve to catch the critter. It turns out you can find farm-raised snapping turtle these days just as you can catfish.

After watching my husband sample a few hearty tastes, the temptation to write about eating my first reptile overrode my queasinsess.

Snapping turtle has red meat like beef, white meat like pork, and pink meat like fish. My friend's mother said that turtle has seven distinct flavors. The cuts we sampled resembled pot roast or stew beef and were stringy and slightly tough, but by no means bad tasting.

How to Cook Snapping Turtle

How do you cook snapping turtle? We found recipes in Housekeeping in Old Virginia, published originally in 1879, but even the Food Network has a few recipes for Turtle Soup--include "game" in your search to weed out the chocolate concoctions.

Housekeeping contained recipes for turtle stew, turtle steaks and turtle in batter.

Hmmm....don't they all sound good? Truthfully, I sampled only a very tiny piece, and all I really tasted (and therefore recommend) was the barbecue sauce. But I did survive the peculiar meal, and I certainly would not discourage anyone from enjoying a good dish of snapping turtle!

Copyright Dineane Whitaker 2008 - Please do not copy and paste this article, but feel free to post a link using this url:

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dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

I've had alligator tail, too, and I did think it tasted like chicken. I decided to stick with the chicken tenders (less expensive on the menu). This guy says, yes, some turtle tastes like chicken:

Eden 8 years ago

So very very sad. Animals are people too, they have emotions, fears and can feel pain and horror. And you congratulate yourself about your wickedness. Then you cry when horrors happen to you and yours. But you deserve them. You just reap what you sow.

dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

When I first published this article, I was pretty new to hubpages and just didn't know what to do with Eden's comment. After reviewing and tweaking a few of my early hubs tonight, I decided to go ahead and 'approve' it. Sorry you think I'm wicked for trying some snappin' turtle. Just don't know what else to say.

Karla McD profile image

Karla McD 7 years ago

I think you are wicked too Dineane but not for trying turtle. ;) Well, I must start by saying I had no idea that animals were people too. Eden needs to understand that condemning us meat eaters in such a way is childish and in no way informative. If Eden's point was to change our minds about eating animals then his/her point was lost.

Dineane,,,do you think you might ever serve turtle at one of your garage parties? I might be in line to give it a try...

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

LOL, Karla - only if someone else cleans it first. Thanks for stopping by!

mark 6 years ago

poor eden

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