Singapore’s Best Turtle Soup: The Taste of History

Ser Seng Herbs (Turtle) Restaurant Editor

February 1, 2023

The best turtle soup in Singapore has deep roots and a long history of being a delicacy in many cultures. In Europe, turtle soup was considered a luxury food item and was popular among the upper class in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the United States, it was a popular dish among the wealthy in the colonial and early republican periods. Additionally, in other cultures, turtle soup is also regarded as a delicacy as well as a symbol of wealth. It is often served to important guests as a sign of respect and hospitality. 

Here, we are going to touch on how turtle soup has garnered its significance in Singapore and in Chinese culture.

Turtle Soup Origins in Chinese Culture

The exact origins of turtle soup in Chinese culture have yet to be well-documented, but it is believed to have been introduced during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). During this period, Chinese cuisine began to incorporate a wider variety of ingredients, including wild game and seafood. 

In Chinese culture, turtle soup is considered to have medicinal properties and is consumed as a tonic to promote longevity and good health. It is believed that the soup can help to strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being. The soup is also believed to have warming properties and is often consumed during the colder months to help keep the body warm. Turtle soup is also considered an aphrodisiac and is believed to improve sexual vitality and fertility.

Turtle Soup as Chinese Traditional Medicine

Turtle meat has its uses in Chinese traditional medicine as well. The soup is believed to strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being. In traditional Chinese medicine, turtles are considered to have “yang” energy and are thought to help balance the body’s “yin” and “yang” energies. 

Additionally, when it comes to Chinese mythology, the turtle is often associated with the image of the “black turtle” or “black warrior”, which is considered as a powerful symbol of both heaven and Earth. The turtle’s shell is said to represent the heavens, while the turtle’s underbelly represents the Earth. The Chinese believed that the turtle’s shell was a symbol of the universe and that the turtle was a protector of the Earth and its inhabitants.

Moreover, turtles were also believed to have lived for a very long time, which made them a symbol of longevity, wisdom and stability. They also were considered to have healing powers and were believed to have the ability to chase away evil spirits and bring in good luck.

Turtle soup is considered a traditional delicacy in Singapore, and it has a long history of being a popular dish among the Chinese community in the country. The soup is typically made with the meat of the green turtle, and it is believed to have medicinal properties and to be a tonic for good health.

The main reason for this is that turtles were traditionally considered a valuable food source and were often difficult to catch and prepare. This, combined with the perceived medicinal properties of turtle meat, made turtle soup a luxury item that was often reserved for the upper class and the wealthy.

Although Singapore is a small country, the Chinese community there has thrived for many years, and its culture remains enriched with its long-withstanding traditions. On that note, the love for turtle soup, in spite of its perceived negative connotations, still stands. Hence, if you’re looking for the best turtle soup in Singapore, there are a plethora of restaurants you can find in this small country.

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