|Memoirs of the dying, or, a collection of wills, executed by several|
of the most eminent characters, of both sexes, now living, in Great Britain (1784)
|Out of many breeds, "green turtle" was the most highly valued|
"The green turtle Indeed has become a branch of commerce, and ships are provided with conveniences for supplying them with water and provision ... this cannot, however, always be effected; for though they scarce require any provision upon the voyage, yet the workings of the ship occasions them to be beat against the sides of the boat that contains them, by which they become very lean and battered; so that, in order to eat this animal in the highest perfection; instead of bringing the turtle to the epicure, the epicure ought to be transported to the turtle."
- A new, complete and universal body, or System of natural history, being a grand, accurate and extensive display of animated nature (1785)
Given the fact that 18th century Jamaica was not considered the healthiest climate for the fragile and delicate English constitution, many decided not to take the trip. But this did not slow the public's insatiable craving for luscious green turtle fat. But where did fashionable men get their hands on it? Where was the best turtle house in town? The question is still unresolved, but I've noted a few potential candidates;
1. Wood's Hotel, Tavern and Coffee House, Covent Garden: The New London Magazine noted "if any preference to it can be given in preparing any particular viands, it is that of turtle and game" (Volume 4, Issue 6, 1788).
|An Ad from the Morning Herald, 1793|
2. The Queens Arms Tavern, St. Paul's Churchyard: A long time hang-out of City politicians, one source observed "great numbers of these animals are dressed at the Queen's-arms-tavern... where we remember to have seen them in two extremes ... three Turtles, two of which together did not weigh three ounces, and the other exceeded nine hundred pounds in weight." (A new, complete and universal body, or System, of natural history, 1787)