Meet Jimmy Oglers, owner of Oglers store and creator of his award winning turtle stew. Jimmy brings us along as he celebrates National Turtle Day in Sutherland, Va., and prepares for the traditional communal cooking of the prize winning turtle stew at his cabin in the woods.
When did Americans begin eating turtle soup and why did they stop? This noble stew was served at presidential inaugurations, on the first transcontinental trains and in crowded boardinghouses across the growing country. In the end, turtle soup became the victim of its own overwhelming popularity. It migrated from presidential dinners down to railway dining cars, and finally to the red and white Campbell's can in the 1920's. By World War II, harried cooks had long tired of dressing their own turtles, and cheaper and tastier canned options to turtle became available. Newfangled convenience products like TV dinners and Spam were the final strikes against the increasingly unfashionable turtle soup, and by the 1960's it had gone the way of pepper pot, served only in certain regions of America.