Eating snake meat

snake denuded

The slithery one who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden is served in a course of sorts in China. It’s like Peking duck, the entire snake is prepared and consumed. Your epicurean journey starts with picking the snake you want (snakes are generally quite expensive even by Malaysian standards).

a snake

The live snake is killed before your eyes (making it dead – call me King of Stating the Obvious) and the expert chef stems the flow of blood from the decapitation of the reptilian by some kung fu application to certain veins and arteries.

snake preperation

The snake blood is the first course of the meal.

snake descaling

Next comes the snake gall served in a glass of high proof alcohol.

snake skin

The snake is de-scaled and the snake skin is served as a tasty appetizer.

snake wine

You can also opt to have a snake head wine at this point.

snake

However, I’m going to get into the meat of the post (pun intended) by describing the main course – snake meat. It’s cooked to perfection, Guilin style. I chose the cooking method that is recommended by the chef, a Guilin resident.

snake meat

How does snake meat taste like? Well, I’ve had python before – that was tough and rather dry. However, this tiny little snake makes for a delicious main meal. There are bones but a surprising amount of meat attached to it as well.

eating snake meat me

I found snake meat to be juicy and while I’ll like to say that it tastes like chicken, it does not. smirk

eating snake meat

Snake meat has a very distinctive taste. Words will not do justice to it (you have to try it for yourself, just like the Matrix). It’s tender and juicy, adjectives I would never expect to describe snake meat with, based on past experience.

It’s a little bit on the sweet side too. If I was forced at gunpoint to describe how it tastes like, I’ll say it tastes like the breast meat of chicken crossed with veal. The texture is a little like eel (but not really) – it’s hard to describe, it’s kinda like that but has more of a meat mouthfeel.

snake dish

I thoroughly enjoyed the meal and finished the entire Snake Experience (TM). It is really good stuff. Do not miss the chance to taste snake meat if you come across a live one. It’s just that good!

Eating snake gall

snake gall

It is very popular to drink a concoction of high proof rice wine with the gall from a freshly killed snake in China. I’m not sure about the folklore behind it, but as with most Chinese “tonics” it’s supposed to boost your virility/gives you courage/(insert superlative).

The gall is prepared separately from the snake blood – it’s supposed to be done in two courses. The snake was gutted and the gall extracted before being plonked into the high alcohol content rice wine. The more poisonous the snake, the more sought after the gall is. I’m not sure how toxic it is to eat snake gall, I didn’t Google it before I actually ate it (and not even after that). smirk

I didn’t swallow the gall wholesale, I wanted to taste it so I bit down on it and it burst in my mouth, filling it with juicy and possibly poisonous goo. I can’t say I could taste anything though coz the alcohol numbed my taste buds and it tastes like raw offal anyway.

Well, like I said in the video, I’m still alive and I still highly recommend it for the full snake experience! smirk

Eating snake skin

snake skin

Snake skin is used for a wide variety of products – handbags, shoes etc. However, I still feel that the best use for snake skin is a quick trip down your throat and into your stomach. smirk

I bought an entire snake to have a Full Course (TM) of snake – blood, gall, skin, and meat. I hear the skin is one of the best parts of the snake.

eating snake skin

It was served as an appetizer and comes in spicy and sour tones. I really liked it. It tastes like sea cucumbers except it’s tougher and more chewy.

I give snake skin two thumbs up (would have given it three but I only have two hands). It kinda overshadows the snake meat. It’s served cold and I’ve gotta tell you, I ate one bowl of steaming rice just with this snake skin.

snake skin china

It’s delicious! Think sea cucumber – except it’s harder to chew and swallow. ;)

Fresh snake blood from a real snake

choose snake

I paid about RMB 750 (about RM 375) for a whole snake in Guilin, China. The reason I did that was coz I wanted to drink fresh snake blood – none of the bullshit that comes in jars. How the fuck would you know if it’s from a snake if you don’t see it killed before your eyes?

Being a huge fan of authenticity, I got an entire snake and watched its reptilian head cut off with my own eyes before the chef drained all the blood into a glass containing a high proof local alcohol (excess of 50%).

killed snake

There is a surprisingly small amount of blood in a snake, but it was enough to fill a glass and you’re supposed to down it in a single shot.

How does snake blood taste like? Well, it tastes like blood to be honest – all killer, no filler. Iron aftertaste to the max. I had an uncontrollable itch on my nose for a couple of days after this, whether it’s from the snake blood or the snake gall, I have no idea.

It’s supposed to have medicinal properties, but having pledged my allegience to Rx Incorporated, I don’t believe a word of it. I just wanted to drink snake blood warm from a freshly decapitated snake and proclaim that YES! I HAVE DRUNK SNAKE BLOOD. Now, I can say that with confidence since the slithery one was slaughtered before my eyes.

Yes, if you watched that last video, you’ll nominate me for the cover of Drunk & Disorderly. :p

More snake posts coming up!

Snake head wine

snake head wine jars

There are a lot of weird and wonderful creatures served with wine as a “tonic” in China. I had the chance to sample snake head wine in Guilin. It costs RMB 30 (which works out to about RM 15) per glass.

snake wine jars

It is not “wine” in the classic sense of the word. There is no fermentation here. The Chinese word “jiu” means alcoholic beverage. These snake heads are actually preserved in some sort of liquid. The snake head is taken out, along with a tablespoon of the liquid inside those jars to produce:

snake wine

Snake head wine!

snake head wine

It’s topped up with the legendary “kao liang jiu” – very high proof alcohol (in excess of 57% alcohol) and downed in a single shot. You’re not supposed to eat the snake head though – I enquired about the reason behind that and it seems that it’s quite poisonous.

This is the first of many snake posts from Guilin. ;)

I found a baby snake!

baby snake

I was out planting trees yesterday when I spotted what appears to be a fast moving earthworm after shovelling earth into my bucket. I quickly scooped it up for further examination. It moved like a snake instead of an earthworm – it was really fast, slithering instead of contracting.

It has a cute little forked tongue!

small snake

I eventually let it go coz I have no idea what to feed a snake of this size. I wonder what it eats when it’s this small.

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