What Does Turtle Taste Like? [You Turtley Should Try It!]

What Does Turtle Taste Like

If you are excited by the taste of exotic foods from around the world, turtle meat is a perfect delicacy. Did you know that one large turtle can contain up to 7 different kinds of meat?

So the answer to ‘what does turtle taste like’ depends entirely on what part of the animal you’re eating and how it’s being prepared.

This article is for you if you’re wondering about the taste of turtle or want to learn about different cooking methods. If this is a little outside your comfort zone though we urge you to review our other flavor articles such as the unique taste of Cashew Fruit.

Your turtle stew might taste like goat, fish, veal, shrimp, beef, chicken, or even pork. The experience is quite unique and can’t be described well enough. However, one thing’s for sure. Your turtle-eating experience will be both exciting and delicious.

What Does Sea Turtle Taste Like?

Sea Turtles

These turtles live in saltwater and taste a lot like a combination of veal and lobster. Some also claim that sea turtles can taste a lot like chicken. When cooked, these turtles taste a lot like what seems like classic white meat from fish or chicken.

Due to the high popularity of turtle meat and severe habitat loss, these turtles are now among endangered species. And since most of these turtles left or have been killed off, it’s become hard to even find turtle eggs.

Although this species isn’t easy to come around, there are plenty of other species of turtles left that you can savor.

What Does Snapping Turtle Taste Like?

Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles, on the other hand, are a freshwater variety. They’re known for having a muddy flavor and succulent texture. Snapping turtle meat taste is truly unique. A snapping turtle is famous for having seven distinct types of meats in a single turtle.

After all, they are incredible meaty creatures weighing 175 lbs on average, and the meat you can get is about one-half of the total weight of the live turtle.

If you ask people who’ve actually eaten turtles-specifically the snapping turtle, you’ll get many different answers as to what their turtle soup tasted like. Snapping turtle meat is rich in savory fat.

It’s dark brown, chewy, and can taste like beef stock reminiscent of a classic beefy flavor. However, turtle stew can also taste like goat, shrimp, or fish.

Although they’re not endangered animals, a lot of US states have instated bans on their hunting. While you can find turtle soup and meat at a diner, it’s safe to say you won’t be able to find any at your local grocery stores.

Types Of Turtle Meat

There are over two hundred and fifty different types of turtles in the world. Each one has a slightly varying taste from the last. From green sea turtles to snapping turtles, the many types of turtle populations mean an even more diverse experience than you expected when you are wondering what turtle taste like?

Turtles have been a popular dish across England and China long before we knew it. However, sadly overfishing especially the large snapping turtle and sea turtles has led to a steep decline in their population.

Nevertheless, turtle meat lovers can still find many restaurants that serve delicious turtle meat of an extremely unique texture.

Among the most beloved species are the large snapping turtle, alligator turtle, shell turtle, and sea turtle.

Is Turtle Meat Nutritional?

Turtle Meat Nutrition

Turtle meat is among the most nutritious types of meat you can find. They have a very high protein content, very little saturated fat, and no carbohydrates. This makes for an amazing fat-free alternative for people who are conscious about their health. Turtle soup is both highly fulfilling and healthy.

It’s high in vitamins like B12 and many essential nutrients like flavonoids, zinc, and selenium, making it a great part of your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy turtle meat?

If you’ve tasted turtle meat, then you know that it’s almost impossible not to want more. But unfortunately, turtle meat doesn’t come around as easily.

If you want to adventure outside the house to learn what turtle taste like, most diners that serve turtle meat usually in the form of turtle soup. But if you’re looking for a place to buy un-cooked turtle meat, you should try the cajun grocer website. They sell all sorts of animal meat, from beef, hoover chicken, alligator turtles, tortoises, or turkey. You can get your favorite ingredients turtle completely clean with shells removed. It truly is the best place to buy exotic meat like turtle or tortoise.

But if you’re not satisfied, you can catch your own meat. It is perfectly legal to catch turtles in all American states other than North Carolina, New York, Oregon, and Minnesota.

Where can I eat turtle soup?

Where Can I Eat Turtle Soup

The best places for eating turtles are Philadelphia and New Orleans. This seemingly exotic meat has never fallen out of style in both these areas, so the chefs there are well-versed in how to prepare and cook it. However, interestingly this classic American soup actually originated in Louisiana.

Brennan’s has a few shops all around America. One of the highlights of their menu is turtle soup. Anyone who’s had their turtle soup has never been disappointed.

You won’t find better-tasting turtle meat anywhere else in the US.

Is it legal to eat a turtle?

Although turtle meat is amongst the most delicious things you can find, like in many countries, there’s a lot of controversy on eating turtle meat in the US. Especially states like California have declared only a few types of turtles legal for consumption. So, if want to explore what turtle taste like in California you can only eat Softshells, Sliders, and Painted Turtles. But other states like Illinois have legal turtle hunting reasons.

So it all depends on which state you’re in.

How can I cook turtle meat?

How Can I Cook Turtle Meat

Finally, want to explore turtle taste like and want to cook them at home, it’s not rocket science. The easiest turtle recipe to start with is cooking turtle soup. Here are a few tips on how to make the perfect turtle soup.

  1. Make sure all remnants of bones and shells are removed properly.
  2. Take your time cooking the meat. Turtle meat can take up to 4 hours to tenderize.
  3. Make sure you add in your favorite vegetables.
  4. One of the best ways to serve it is with rice. You can also use freshly baked bread if you like. But the best food combination here is boiled rice.


Delving into the world of turtle meat brings a complex mix of flavors and perspectives. While some describe a symphony of tastes, ranging from chicken and pork to beef and seafood, others find it muddy, chewy, and unappealing. Ultimately, the taste of turtle depends heavily on preparation, species, and personal preference.

Also read our latest blog on How To Reheat Bone Broth

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