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Invitation to a turtle beheading in the kitchen of a grand establishment

Posted in Animals, Conservation, Historical articles, History, Oddities on Friday, 22 November 2013

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Turtle beheading, picture, image, illustration

Beheading the turtle

Turtle Soup is a traditional dish in Oriental and Pacific nations, but during the Eighteenth century it also became fashionable as a delicacy in Europe. The turtle population undoubtedly decreased as its culinary importance grew, and traditional turtle hunting was soon a sport enjoyed by other parties interested in making a profit. Catching turtles became a lucrative business, and the animals which were killed were usually large breeding adults whose demise severely lessened the chances of the turtles’ population growth. Consequently, the sport was outlawed in many countries, especially America. The fast and humane way of killing the animal was beheading, and in this bizarre and unusual picture the entire kitchen staff of some great London hotel have gathered with a crowd of onlookers to witness the execution. Mock Turtle soup was concocted as a cheaper version and is really made of veal, especially calf’s head, which is why Lewis Carroll’s Mock Turtle was depicted with a calf’s head in the peerless illustrations by John Tenniel.

Many more pictures relating to kitchens can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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