Friday, July 9, 2010

St. Rita's Mock Turtle Soup: The Inside Scoop

You can't write a book about Cincinnati food without a Mock Turtle Soup
recipe and you can't think about Mock Turtle Soup without thinking about St.
Rita's School for the Deaf annual festival and their massive quantity of Mock Turtle
Soup. 600 gallons to be exact.
Since 1916, Mike Woebkenberg's family has been the keepers of the secret recipe
which St. Rita uses. His co-chef in this enterprise is Ben Koenig who is also
in the family.
This past week I got to meet these two princes of soup while they were busyily
cooking up the 600 gallons for the festival. They gave me a taste and a few pointers
of what they DO and we compared recipes which was fun. We do many of the
same things- but for sure -neither of us any longer begin making the soup with
a calve's head.We did agree on this ! The St. Rita's festival for 2010 is July 9-10-11 over on Glendale Milford Road in Evendale- and is a lot of fun. Get there
early for the soup!
As you may have guessed, I am busy researching for my next book--
which will include great festival foods from our area.
This gives me a full summer of "research" trying those great recipes
we all love!!
Thought I would include today a photo of Mike ( Green Shirt) and Ben and the 25 gallon
soup pot which they make the mock turtle soup in.
CINCINNATI AND SOUP does feature a mock turtle soup recipe- but
it isn't St. Rita's-- that is still a family secret !