Any of several varieties of reptiles that can live in fresh water, salt water or on land and have a hard shell covering their bodies. Some turtles can grow quite large, weighing over 1,000 pounds. Found in temperate marine waters, the sea or green turtle is best known for its use in cooking. It has a smooth olive green shell and green to whitish flesh; the green flesh is considered better of the two. These turtles are often made into a thick turtle soup that usually includes madeira or sherry as an ingredient. Terrapin, a small (7- to 8-inch) turtle species that inhabits fresh or brackish water, is considered by many to have the best meat. Terrapin meat is sometimes pounded and served like steak. Tortoises live on land and are considered less desirable than terrapin or sea turtles. Regardless of the species, the meat of the female is much more tender than that of the male. Conservation measures have limited the availability of this reptile. Canned and frozen turtle meat can sometimes be found in specialty food stores.