To eat or not to eat snake for dinner?…. That is the
question. Well………. why the heck not!!
I have had snake on a number of occasions in a soup base but
have been unable to eat because of the toughness of the skin. My buddy Hau was
determined that I experience a well prepared snake so off to the Mekong we drove on little 110 cc scooters. My friend Brad
from Canada is back in Vietnam and he
was also invited. With sore rear ends we arrived in Ben Tre after about a two
hour ride on hells highway. Hau had called ahead and told the chef that the
snake was to be tender and easy to eat so that I could finally enjoy the delicacy.
I am sure (tongue planted firmly in cheek) that Brad was looking forward to it
as much as me. After an appetizer of deep fried banana flowers, out came the
A plate of deep fried snake bones with flesh removed was
served on a bed of lettuce. The idea was to enjoy the deep fried crunchiness of
the treat while drinking our rice wine mixed with snake blood. Ok….. so far so
good. Brad and I were managing to crunch on the bones and drink the blood when
out came the main course. The meat and skin of the snake was cut into small
bite size pieces and served in a soup with vegetables. True to the chef’s word,
the skin was softer and edible (though still a bit tough). Hah I thought!! I
could finally say that I hade enjoyed (enjoyed being a loose term) snake but
wait!! We were not finished yet. A stir fry dish with unidentifiable items and vegetables
arrived. After eating a couple of the vegetables, I lifted up a string of white
objects attached to some tough gelatin like substance. “What is this?” I enquired.
“Snake eggs” Hau enthusiastically replied as he served a couple to put into Brad’s
bowl. “C’mon guys” Hau exclaimed, “They are just like Chicken eggs”…….. UhHuh…..
I watched as Brad stone faced consumed
the eggs. Damn him for keeping a straight face! So it was I used a spoon to
sever an egg from the disgusting looking material holding them together.
The egg really did not have much taste. It was much tougher
than a chicken egg and it took some pressure to pierce the skin. When I did and
the yolk sac exploded. It had to be one of the most unpleasant experiences I
have even had. Even the snake blood could not was down the taste. For the rest
of the day, Brad and I had chills at the memory of snake eggs exploding their
contents into our mouths…. I did not
have the will or courage to try any of the other internal organs offered in the
stir fry. Next time I am asked to eat snake……. Maybe I will just eat a bullet
I must clarify that this was water snake commonly served in
the Mekong Delta and not Cobra Maybe you can tell me if Cobra’s eggs are better……….