Travel|December 9, 2010 2:24 am

Snake: It’s What’s for Dinner

Snake: It's What's for Dinner

Yes, I ate that snake you see in the picture. And if you think that’s bad, wait until you hear what I did just before eating him! Or, if you have a weak stomach, maybe you should skip this post. I have to admit, I was a bit shocked myself, but, hey, I was floating on a bamboo barge in the middle of a tropical Vietnamese jungle; things weren’t supposed to be like they are back home. That’s the whole idea, right?

Still, I wasn’t quite prepared when the waitress pulled out a knife and began bleeding the snake tableside, as if to prove that the warm shots of blood we were about to drink were, indeed, fresh. Oh, yes, you read that right. The snake’s blood was drained into shot glasses, splashed with a spot of rice wine, and then served up as an aperitif. I sucked down the cup-o-blood like a famished vampire. It was thick and warm, with a hint of alcohol flavoring. Still here? Good, because things are about to get interesting.

Blood, Bile and Soup

Seemingly amazed and bewildered by our rock solid gag reflexes, or total lack thereof, the waitress went back to work, and, determined to make us writhe and cringe, carved out the poor creature’s stomach and drained its bile (otherwise known as stomach acid) into another set of handily placed shot glasses. The sharp, pungent, green bodily fluid was again adorned with a spot of rice wine and served up with a smile, and a watchful eye.

With a poignantly puckered face and a violently shaking head, I managed to suck down the shot of bile without anything else coming up. At this point, I was sure that the worst of it was over, and, thankfully, I was right. In fact, what followed next was quite enjoyable.

We started with a wonderful bowl of snake skin soup, a treat that resembled a Chinese-style egg drop soup, but a little thicker, and, of course, with generous helpings of snake skin floating about. Then we enjoyed an array of dishes ranging from snake-fried-rice with vegetables to barbecued snake body, which was similar to eating a chicken neck, only with a slightly gamier taste. Surprisingly, one of the most popular dishes among us was the deep-fried snakeskin, which was scooped up and served on a rice cake (seen in the forefront of the picture below, behind my snakeskin soup).

Vietnamese Snake Dishes

While drinking the bodily fluids of a snake was a novelty I don’t plan on repeating, I would, without hesitation, welcome a second serving of nutritious snakeskin soup, hearty barbecued snake back, and delicious deep fried snakeskin.

How about you? Would you accept an invitation to have a barbecued steak snake? Had any other interesting meals? Tell us all about them in the comments below.

After the Snake Blood Shots--the Bile shots are Still on the Table

Blood, Bile and Soup

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