Thursday, 2 February 2012

Turtles on the Dinner Table



Turtle Adobo - with its meat and eggs


When traveling to or living in a foreign country, my husband usually finds a way to indulge his obsession of exotic food.  Frederick has no qualms in eating “unusual” and "uncommon" foods that most people like me find it gross, disgusting, and disturbing.

Most of the time, I don’t mind him eating exotic food even if some of it grossed me.   But there are times that we argue over his fondness of eating these exotic delicacies/dishes specially when there are ethical issues involved.  Eating animals regardless of the kind is always a sticky and tricky issue.  I believe that the world is a game of “survival of the fittest”  as my husband always use in defense of his "unusual" eating habit  but I also believe that all creatures living or not have the right to live and be in this world and to be treated well and that each one has their own function specially in the ecological evolution of beings, to eat or to be eaten.  

It’s acceptable for me to eat meat from animals that are bred for food and are abundantly available here, there, or elsewhere, and are legally eaten, similarly with plants.  But I personally do not encourage the eating of living things that are already on the brink of extinction nor of pets like dogs & cats, and those that are legally banned as food.  And as a matter of fact I condemn it so much and oftentimes I find myself reproving Frederick and other people for doing so.   But in fairness to my husband, he hasn’t eaten anything “illegal” yet (not sure though)

One of those exotic food that my husband ate when he was in Kinshasa, DR Congo are turtles.  I am not sure whether the species of turtles he had are endangered or are bred for human consumption,  I just hope that they are legally edible. You see, eating turtles is one of those acceptable locavorism activities in Kinshasa, DR Congo.  As for me, the mere sight of it causes my stomach to revolt :-(


For proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients, these are the reasons why human beings eat meat from traditional sources like fish, chicken, pig, beef, etc.    And It is this same reason why people in some parts of the world like in Africa eat turtles - because it is there "traditional meat source".  Turtles are cheap and the most abundant source of meat that can provide them with protein, most importantly, with food that enable them to live and survive.


Turtle meat is nutritious and a good and healthy source of protein since it is lower in fats, specially saturated fats, lower in cholesterol, as well as lower in sodium as compared to beef.  See the comparison of the nutritional values of turtle meat and beef below (source : http://www.thecaloriecounter.com/ )

Nutritional values per 100 g. of Turtle meat

Calories          :   89 kcal
Total Fats         :  0.5 g
Cholesterol     :   50 mg
Saturated Fats :  0.1 g
Protein            :   19.8 g
Trans Fat         :  0 g
Sodium           :    68 mg
Dietary Fiber    :  0 g
Carbohydrate  :   0 g
Sugar               :  0 g


Nutritional values per 100 g. of lean Beef

Calories          :   276.47 kcal
Total Fats         :  18.24 g
Cholesterol     :   89.06 mg
Saturated Fats :  7.06 g
Protein            :   26.24 g
Trans Fat         :  0 g
Sodium           :    93.06 mg
Dietary Fiber    :  0 g
Carbohydrate  :   0 g
Sugar               :  0 g


In Chinese medicine,  turtle meat are believed to nourish the health. According to a website on Chinese medicine, (http://www.shen-nong.com/ ) the meat of a turtle is believed to be one of those Chinese foods that cure or perhaps relieve the symptoms for menopause, and help keep the skin young, as it is believed that turtle meat enriches the kidneys as well as the blood and cools the body.   Please take note, however, that there are no scientific studies or data to support these claims yet at the moment.

Anyway, here’s my husband's turtle meat cooking and eating adventure.  Most of the time, my husband's colleagues cook (he just ate) the turtle meat the Pinoy adobo way.

How does turtle meat taste?  Frederick said it is delicious, more delicious than fish and chicken, and it doesn't have any fishy, slimy taste, and the taste is not as strong as that of a goat or duck's meat.  It doesn't also taste like pork nor beef.  He just merely describe it as "DELICIOUS and TASTY" 




The turtle's egg is also delicious, according to Frederick. It's texture is like the yolk of a salted egg, it is gritty. 


Turtle Egg

     TURTLE RECIPE


Ingredients:


Turle meat, cut into serving sizes
Turtle eggs 
Soy Sauce 
Vinegar
Garlic
Black Peppercorns
Water just enough to cover the turtle meat



Cooking Procedure:


Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil until the meat is tender and most of the liquids have evaporated.



Serve and enjoy it anyway you like it.




 © Fresha-licious (02February2012)

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