This is not a sequel to the cult movie Snakes on a plane (I loved Samuel L in Pulp Fiction). This is about eating, and drinking, snakes. Anywhere you find venomous snakes, you’ll find some dude ready to eat it in some ritualistic way. In Asia, cobras are pretty much universally thought to cure everything from sexual impotency to baldness to poor eyesight, whether they’re served alive, drained of blood, or steeped in wine.
SNAKE WINE… I’LL STICK TO GRAPES
The snake is left to steep in the rice wine for many months to let the poison dissolve in the wine. The ethanol makes the venom inactive so it is not dangerous, and snake wine supposedly has many health benefits. It has a slightly pink colour like a nice rose because of the snake blood in there.
It originated in Vietnam, where snakes are thought to possess medicinal qualities, but it has spread to other parts of South East Asia and Southern China. Photo by Rob Sheridan on Flickr
Snake blood wine on the other hand is made by slicing the belly of the snake to let the blood drain into the wine and this is served immediately… as seen below…
The local venomous snake in Okinawa, the Okinawan habu (Trimeresurus flavoviridis, although any habu may be used), in alcohol for super-Viagra. It’s called ‘habushu’.
Just as with many other venomous snakes, the habu is not just stored in alcohol and left to look intimidating. The Okinawans have made use of its meat as well. Unlike cobra meat enthusiasts, the natives of Okinawa do not care if the snake’s meat is particularly fresh…
From Myths made real
Although I have heard fried snake is quite good (tastes like chicken!) I am a little wary of the snake jerky above. Would I eat snake if given the chance? Sure, but I may be hesitant to certain preparations… or lack thereof.