If you’ve ever been asked, Can people eat snakes? Or perhaps you’ve heard of snakes being sold at pet stores as food, you might wonder if there’s any truth to this claim. After all, they are reptiles, and many other snakes are eaten as delicacies in other parts of the world.
Since snake venom must enter the bloodstream to be dangerous to humans, eating snakes does not pose any risk of poisoning. Snake meat is considered a rising star in the food industry due to its relatively low fat and calorie content and high protein content.
Background – African vs. Asian Snakes
There are over 500 species of snakes in Africa, which is home to nearly 75% of all snake species worldwide. When it comes to eating snakes, there’s quite a difference between African and Asian snakes.
Many Africans view python meat as something tasty and not too different from beef or other meats commonly found on American menus; however, in Asia, many people have never tried snake meat because they believe it to be unpalatable.
However, you might be surprised at how similar snake meat tastes to chicken when appropriately prepared.
For example, a popular dish in China called stir-fried shredded snake with vegetables (often made with pythons) has been compared to General Tso’s Chicken—and you can find recipes for dishes like it online.
Some chefs say cooking with python meat is more similar to cooking with rabbit than any other type of meat available today.
Why Don’t More Americans Eat Snakes?
It’s primarily cultural—snake consumption isn’t unheard of here but is limited primarily to Southern states like Louisiana, where deep-fried rattlesnake (or rattlesnake rodeo) is often served as an appetizer at Cajun restaurants.
But if you’re interested in trying out snake meat, we’ve got good news: finding quality frozen snake meat shouldn’t be difficult.
Snake farms worldwide sell their products to companies that distribute them globally. So whether you want to cook up a batch of fried rattlesnake or try your hand preparing your python steak, finding a high-quality frozen snake should be easy.
Just buy fresh frozen snakes rather than thawed snakes—thawing will ruin their texture and flavor. And once you’ve accepted your set python or boa, follow these steps:
If you’d prefer to get your hands dirty, consider making soup or stew. Even a simple recipe can taste delicious with enough spices and other ingredients!
Why Do People Eat Snakes?
The answer to your question: can people eat snakes? Lies here.
Snakes are viewed as a delicacy in many countries worldwide, from China to Indonesia. Their meat is thought to be high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, leading many people to believe that snake meat is healthy for you.
What’s more, snake meat is also low cost, making it an appealing meal for people on a budget. Given all of these benefits, it might surprise you to learn that eating snakes can be incredibly dangerous—and sometimes even deadly.
The idea that snake meat is healthy is essentially a myth: While it’s true that snake meat contains more protein than other meats like beef or chicken.
It also contains higher levels of cholesterol and saturated fat—meaning that you could end up with an increased risk for heart disease when you consume too much of it over time. If you’re looking to lose weight, eating snakes isn’t going to help you.
Even if you don’t care about your health at all, snakes aren’t necessarily low-cost meals. Many species are protected by law in certain countries because they’re so rare—making them incredibly expensive to purchase on the black market.
Plus, there’s no guarantee that what’s being sold as the snake is a snake at all—it could be anything from rats to badgers (or even worse). It’s probably best not to eat snakes… but if someone does decide to try one out anyway (and survives).
Are There Any Benefits To Eating Snakes?
Despite everything we’ve just discussed, some people argue that snake meat can have its benefits. For example, some claim that it can cure everything from migraines to impotence. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence supporting these claims whatsoever.
According to some persons’ beliefs, snake meat has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. However, only because practitioners believe it can heal various ailments without having any actual medicinal properties whatsoever (like rhino horn).
So while you might be able to find people who swear by its healing powers, those claims are entirely unfounded and should not influence your decision whether or not to eat snakes.
4 Reasons Why People Shouldn’t Eat Snakes!
Although many cultures consume them regularly, there are several reasons why people shouldn’t eat snakes.
1) Flesh can be toxic
For one thing, their flesh can be toxic due to several different parasites living inside their bodies.
2) Venomous bites
Second, some species have venomous bites, which can cause severe illness or death within minutes if proper medical attention isn’t given immediately.
3) Dangerous bacteria
And third, snake meat has been known to carry dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli—making it unsafe for consumption in almost all cases.
4) Prepare properly
In addition, if you don’t prepare snake meat properly, you could end up with parasites living inside your body which can cause severe problems down the road.
5) Safety issues
One of the biggest reasons is safety issues related to handling these creatures. Many people have been bitten by snakes while trying to capture them for food.
How Are Snakes Eaten In Africa And Asia?
In countries across Africa and Asia, snakes are considered a delicacy. Here’s a rundown of how each culture eats its snakes. It’s pretty gross but also fascinating. Enjoy!
Contrary to popular belief in Western cultures (and much of Western media), most snake meat is not poisonous. Many people who eat snake claim that it tastes like chicken or fish—though some might say chicken or fish gone bad.
While there are certainly some poisonous species out there (like those belonging to two families: Elapidae and Viperidae), there are far more non-poisonous ones (like colubrids).
If you’re looking for your next dinner party conversation piece, feel free to ask about snake dishes—people love talking about their eating habits!
But don’t be surprised if you get a few strange looks. Eating snakes is pretty uncommon in Western culture, so they may look at you as crazy when you ask them how they cook up a nice rattlesnake.
All snake-eating countries have in common that they usually fry their snakes before eating them. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: frying ensures that any parasites lurking inside will die off before consumption, meaning no nasty stomach aches later on down the road.
It also helps make sure none of those critters has time to lay eggs inside your body while digesting it. Therefore, think of a fried snake as being kind of like pre-chewed food.
What Else Goes Into Preparing A Tasty Snake Dish?
Well, that depends on where you are and who you ask. Some people like to add spices (like cumin or coriander) or sauces (like coconut milk), while others prefer simple preparations (just salt and pepper).
Some cultures even eat their snakes with rice or noodles—though we wouldn’t recommend trying such a combination here in America. While it might sound strange at first, there’s something beautiful about eating your food with a different animal than it was intended for.
It shows how far humans have come from their hunter-gatherer days. When our ancestors ate snakes, they probably didn’t do so by dousing them in curry powder and frying them up alongside a side of linguini.
But times change. And if you want to try something new today, feel free to give snake meat a shot! Please don’t say we didn’t warn you when your stomach starts acting up tomorrow morning.
How Do Other Countries Prepare Them?
While the fried snake is famous around Africa and Asia, not all countries prepare their serpents in quite the same way. In China, for example, people eat snakes with rice or noodles—which can be pretty tasty when you think about it.
But again, we wouldn’t recommend trying such a combination in America, unless you want to have a few awkward conversations with your friends and family members later down the road.
And while some people like to grill their snakes (like they would a chicken), others prefer to boil them alive before eating them (just like they would lobsters).
Common Myths about Eating Snake Meat
There’s a lot of talk about snake meat being poisonous or that all snakes are venomous. Neither of these myths is true. Snake meat can be eaten with no ill effects unless you’re allergic to it like some people are allergic to seafood or eggs.
There is also a common myth that if you eat a live snake (such as a constrictor), it will become too long and stay inside your body, making you sick. This isn’t possible because a snake’s digestive tract is different from ours.
If you were to swallow one whole, it would pass through your system without any problem. However, it’s not recommended to try eating a live snake; many are still wild animals who may have parasites in their flesh.
It’s better to catch them when they’re dead before preparing them for cooking.