Eating Snake Meat
Eating snake meat has once been considered utter taboo worldwide. Although some countries have partaken in the eating of snakes for thousands of years, the western world has been aversed to no end by thought of eating these slimy, legless lizards. If you ask someone on the street if they have ever eaten snake, there is a 99% chance they will say no, and be reluctant to try it.
Is Snake Edible?
When I was traveling to South Africa, I happened to stumble across a Zulu restaurant that served python, crocodile, and even spiders. It was interesting to me to see people so close to the outskirts of Johannesburg eating lizards, rodents, insects, and snakes. Whether I tried it or not will remain a secret.
In other countries, particularly in south-east Asia, eating snakes is regular. Adivasi's (Indian aborigines) have taken part in the consumption of snake meat since times before time. In Thailand, you can find street vendors selling fried snake meat with dipping sauce—yum! In countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, snake might be on the menu every night. Particularly, fast-growing large snakes like Asian Pythons are available cheaply on the meat markets and are farmed for their tender meats and skins.
Even in many parts of South America, you can find snakes on the menu. You really don't have to go far in countries like Belize and aboriginal areas of Brazil. Even crossing the border into Mexico, you might find vipers on the menu.
Australian aborigines have traditionally glazed snake meat with honey and salt to make delicious jerky.
But really, you don't have to go too far. As a method of controlling snake populations in the southern areas of the United States, limited hunting of snakes has been allowed. Additionally, some farms in the states farm snakes for their meat. You can find everything from python, to adders, to rattlesnakes in certain restaurants in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. The trends are starting to pick up and are slowly dispersing to other areas of the continental USA. Maybe soon, your local restaurants might have snake on the menu!
What Does Snake Taste Like ?
Based on polls conducted among a group of one hundred people that have eaten or tried snake, the following comparison have been made: 55% said it tasted like chicken, 30% said it tasted like turtle, 10% said it tasted like frog, and 5% said it tastes like fish. Some sources outside the group of 122 individuals interviewed said it tastes like a mix between chicken, frog, and fish.
Python is the most commonly eaten and farmed snake in the world. Pythons come in many different sub-species and lack poison glands, hence if cooked properly, they pose little danger of contaminating people with potential poisonous substances. Pythons also grow quickly and yield large amounts of skins and meat. In countries like China, python farms exist extensively. Chinese particularly produce and export python meat and skins due to the desire to use the bones to make snake wine (a common wine in China).
Most likely, wherever you eat your first snake, it will likely be a python!
Rattlesnakes are extremely venomous and dangerous for human consumption. Like puffer-fish, if the meat is not properly cleaned and the full contents of the poison glands and sacs removed, it can mean a slow and painful death. Therefore, any enthusiast looking to try rattlesnake is advised to buy it pre-cleaned by a professional. Doing a sloppy job or a "do it yourself" can compromise your very existence, all for a bite of sweet, sweet rattlesnake meat.
Rattlesnake is considered a pest in many parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and others. Therefore, coming from the other side of the border, the tradition of catching, cleaning, and frying the vermin has become increasingly common. Unlike the rest of the world, rattlesnake is the most common type of snake eaten in continental North America.
Rattlesnake can be served barbecued (covered in barbecue sauces), fried (with a side of yogurt and cucumber tzatziki sauce), or boiled (which sounds nasty), possibly made into a salad with mayonnaise through a blender?
Where Can I Buy Snake Meat?
You can buy snake meat on many websites that will ship it fresh and preserved or dried directly to your home or office. Eating snake has never been easier! You don't have to farm, hunt, or steal snakes from anyone. Just pay the "fair market value" for the meat plus shipping and handling, and you can try snake today!
Sounds like a sales pitch? Well it's not. Our store currently does not sell these items, but we would be happily open to partnering with one of the many manufacturers and adding snake meat or jerky to our store. If you are interested, kindly sign up and post in the "suggestion box" on the discussion board.
Snake jerky is literally snake that has been dried and salted, sometimes with additional flavors added. Snake jerky can be dried using salt, sun-drying, or through prolonged smoking. Snake jerky from a reputable company can be the safest, cleanest, and healthiest option to try your first bite of snake meat.
Snake jerky is lean, high in protein, barren of fats (since the fat is dried out), and full of B vitamins, iron, and low in calories. Snake meat might be the next wave of "healthy meat" like turkey. However, jerky forms also come with negative side effects. The sodium levels are very high, so if you have high blood pressure or suffer from frequent dehydration, this is not a good option for you.
It goes without saying that snake meat isn't exactly sold at the supermarket. Therefore, you must be cautious when buying, cooking, and especially consuming snake meat. Like fish, special care should be taken during the cooking process. Biological pathogens may naturally occur in the meat, including e-coli and in African countries: Ebola (due to the snake consuming animals infected with the disease).
Whenever eating a predator, it is advised to seek professional cleaning and preparing of the meat prior to consumption. Take that into account and you too can eat snake meat!