This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Is made in both of the ways just described, with the single difference that no roux or other thickening is put in. Cooks, who have a regular daily habit of making a clear consomme- of some kind for dinner, often proceed in a different way by seasoning and clarifying the turtle broth and coloring it, adding the cubes of turtle meat at the moment of serving. Turtle soup is not nearly so well known or highly thought of in the United States as in England, where it is and has long been almost a national dish, notwithstanding their turtles have to be imported from this side. This Is On Record Since So Years Ago:
"The usual allowance at a turtle feast is six pounds live weight per head; at the Spanish dinner, at the City of London Tavern, August, 1808, 400 guests attended, and 2,500 lbs. of turtle were consumed." Appropos of turtle soup and turtle steak, it was Artemus Ward who said: "As for me, give me turtle or give me death. What is life without turtle? Nothing! What is turtle without life? Nothinger still!"
Turtle eggs are held in great esteem wherever obtainable, equally by Europeans as by others. These eggs have a very soft shell, and are about the size of ordinary pigeon's eggs. The mother turtles lay three or four times a year, at the rate of from 140 to 200 eggs each laying. The Orinoco and Amazon Indians obtain from these eggs a kind of clear sweet oil, which they use in much the same way as we do butter. In the month of February, when the high waters of the Orinoco have receded, millions of turtles come on shore to deposit their eggs, which they always carefully cover over with the sand. The natives about the mouth of the mighty River Amazon alone, gather some 5,000 jars of the oil, and each jar of oil represents the product of over 5,000 of these turtle eggs.