International Culinary Delights- Eating Snake in Vietnam
One of the best parts of traveling is eating local dishes. Those who know me know I have a passion for food. I’ll try anything from snake to white worms to alligator.
One delicacy to try if you are in Vietnam is snake. Here is a little story:
I found myself traveling in Hanoi, Vietnam during the Winter 2006-2007. The lonely planet book we had mentioned a few places so why not really immerse ourselves in the Vietnamese culture?! We took a cab to the address in the book and to our surprise, found ourselves in front of a house. Not knowing what to expect, we rang the doorbell and a friendly family opened the door. They invited us in the back of the house and asked us to pick a snake. That is, one snake part of the many moving around the cage. Not knowing which snake tastes best, we asked for his advice. He suggested we pick the boa since it’s the biggest snake, hence, more meat.
The wife brought us upstairs in a family room while we waited for the man to arrive with the snake. Be prepared for what is coming up next… So the man grabbed the snake and began to slap it on the floor until he died. Then, he cut the length of his “body” open and removed his heart and liver. He placed the heart in one glass and the liver in another. Then, he cut the snake’s vain and poured some of it in one glass and the rest in the other. Throughout this process, we were looking at him disgusted as these are far from being Canadian traditions. So after pouring the blood in both glasses, he asked one of us to drink it. Can you believe that?! You actually saw the heart still beating in the glass and he wanted us to try it… ewwww! Anyhow, none of us wanted to try it as we’re not that bold.
In the meantime, his wife was cooking the meat of the snake. First one the menu was a snake soup and then pieces of snake meat. Although I only tried a small quantity of snake meat, I have to admit that I probably will not eat any again. Although we selected the biggest snake available-the boa- it still didn’t give us lots of meat and it was full of cartilage. The cartilage made it very crunchy to eat. So yeah, this is my experience with eating a snake in Vietnam!