I quite often succumb to reading those crappy things on Facebook, “15 of the Most Outrageous Lies Kids Tell”; “25 Stories to Make Your Hair Stand on End”; “Hilarious Replies When Someone Texted the Wrong Number.” I am annoyed by myself for wasting time doing it and will often give up after a few slides, but sometimes I see it through to the painful end. Anyway, what I am about to confess will place me firmly on one of those lists, one titled, “People Who Shouldn’t Admit to Being this Dumb.”
Up until this morning, I thought that the mock turtle was a real animal.
This is true, I woke up thinking there was a real animal called a Mock Turtle, and now an hour later the walls have been blown apart, I am completely disillusioned (is this a real world? Spell check seem to be on board with it…)
The destruction of my innocence began when I was mulling over what impersonal, unemotional topic I could write about this morning. Why the mock turtle of course. I had no idea what it looked like or what it might have in common with the genuine turtle, therefore surely there must be others who shared my ignorance, and would appreciate being liberated from their lack of knowledge. I knew that the mock turtle in Alice in Wonderland was a fictional character, for starters it talks – dead give away. But I kind of thought that it was based on a real one because after all there is such a thing as Mock Turtle Soup.
Ah…you can see where the confusion began. There’s chicken soup, rabbit stew, frog’s legs, steamed snails, mussels in a white wine sauce, spit roast pig, wild boar… generally speaking when a food has an animal in its name, the animal is real. I suppose the word “Mock” should have been more of a clue.
Anyway, for those of you who are curious Mock Turtle Soup is made from the bits of cows that you’ll only find in a proper butcher shop (or on a cow) like feet, brains, organs, with some vegetables thrown in for vitamins. It is supposed to replicate the taste of Green Turtle Soup which was all the rage in the 1700s. Turtles were being kidnapped and transported to Britain and the colonies from the Cayman Islands. Shipping and handling fees being extortionate from the dawn of time, the soup was expensive enough to require you to sell a couple of your own organs. Thus someone came up with a cheaper alternative, and in a fit of honesty rarely found in marketing, accurately named it Mock Turtle Soup.
I guess it’s not so different to imitation crab rolls. Perhaps in 300 years time there will be a person at a party demanding, “What do you mean the Imitation Crab is not a real animal? People used to eat them all the time!”