At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018


After a comment on a friend's Facebook page I found an item which intrigued me. As well as a word which I did not know till now: callipee.
Not, as you might think, an exotic princess living among the hairy savages of Northern Europe, or a musical instrument, but the cartilage, fat, and nutritious meat of sea turtles, which is used for soup.

"The flesh of turtles, calipash or calipee, was and still is considered a delicacy in a number of cultures. Turtle soup has been a prized dish in Anglo-American cuisine, and still remains so in some parts of Asia.
Gopher tortoise stew was popular with some groups in Florida."

Source: Wikipedia; Turtles; As food, traditional medicine, and cosmetics

Calipee is defined as the fatty yellowish material in the lower part of a turtle's carapace (the plastron), and does not sound very appetizing.

On the other hand gopher tortoise stew sounds delicious. It contains all the usual ingredients for adding flavour: salt meats or bacon (or any spicy pork sausage), chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes. Plus land turtle flesh, and cubed potatoes. Pepper. And brown roux.
Proceed as you would imagine.
Hot sauce optional.

The gopher tortoise is native to the Southeastern United States. It is also known as 'Hoover Chicken', after our beloved thirty first president.

龜苓膏 ('gwai ling gou')

Chinese people will, especially during the warm months, consume a dessert made from tortoise plastron and medicinal herbs, although due to the cost of the carapace most versions commonly available contain no tortoise at all. Guilinggao is considered beneficial for the complexion if consumed regularly. Also said to be good for circulation and the kidneys.

Source: Wikipedia; Guilinggao

Two of the most interesting ingredients in some formulations stand out, namely China root (tu fu ling) and ganoderm fungus (ling qi).

Tu fu ling (土伏苓 'tou fuk ling'); smilax glabra, China root. Traditionally used to treat the effects of venereal diseases. Non-toxic, neutral.
Blood-stabilizing. Contra-indicated during pregnancy. [*]
Ling zhi (靈芝 'ling ji'); miraculous mushroom. Whole bunch of reputed benefits, but note especially that it boosts the immune response and may stave off senility. [*]

FYI: Another worthwhile herb in the Chinese pharmacoepia is Huang Qi, Astragalus membranicus (黄芪 'wong kei'). Allegedly it stimulates the immune system and is beneficial to the heart and circulation.
Contra-indicated for pregnant women.

PS.: The green sea turtle is named 'soepschildpad' in Dutch.
The literal meaning is "soup shield toad".
Delightfully blunt.

This entire essay is contra-indicated for Vegans.
Please go away.

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