Ever noticed the Mock Turtle in Alice in Wonderland and wondered what it was about? Go here for a fascinating article on the history of mock turtel soup!
- So from “The Orient” came Turtle Soup, which, as you might have by now inferred, was made from actual turtles. The sheer exoticity of the dish- combined with the scarcity of its essential ingredient on these shores- made it a status symbol at dinner parties across the land. However, the sheer price of said essential imported ingredient rendered it basically impossible for all but the most moneyed to produce the soup at dinner parties and therefore impress any guests.
Thus was born the Mock Turtle Soup. Cooks were instructed to emulate the soup as much as possible, and for the newly emerging Middle Classes a signature dish was born. This soup did not of course use actual turtle but was based in beef stock that was given a somewhat fishy edge with added, well, fish.