Year of the Snake

Aperitivo (snake's blood in rice wine)

A snaky infusion of rice wine

Bizarrely, I spent this Chinese New Year’s Eve teaching cookery in Houston, and then eating Tex-Mex! (Molten cheese with tortilla chips; a San Antonio ‘puffy taco’ stuffed with smoked chicken; a great platter piled with a tamale, a couple of enchiladas, refried beans and rice – all very tasty, but incredibly rich and heavy! Could have done with a salad or some stir-fried greens. The highlight, for me, was one of the sides, the scrumptious refried beans cooked in lard.) On New Year’s Day I travelled back to Washington DC, where I was staying with friends. So no Chinese food at all – not even a fish!

Snake soup

Anyway, since it’s the Year of the Snake, I thought I’d post some pictures of snake delicacies from a visit to Fujian a few years ago.

What kind of snakes are these, in the kitchen? Anyone know?

5 Responses to “Year of the Snake”

  1. Genie

    Happy New Year to you! We have had a few days of over eating Chinese food. I’ve never eaten snake in China (that I can remember) but I have had it in Vietnam. It was an interesting experience and while I’m glad I did it, I wouldn’t put snake meat up on my list of go-to foods.

  2. James

    Elaphe carinata Aka the King Rat Snake, which is “the most common” snake in the snake trade in China, perhaps.

  3. Scott

    I recently went to a restaurant that specializes in “exotic” Chinese/Vietnamese food for a little pre-Year Of The Snake meal. But apparently serving snake is now illegal in California.

    (Or maybe it’s just the way they planned on serving it)

  4. Casey

    I had snake in Quzhou, China. As your photo depicts, they served the snakes blood and a glass of rice wine, but the wine also had the snake’s gall bladder floating in it. My host said it was popular with businessmen to drink the blood and wine/gall bladder. I passed on those two items, as did my host. Our snake meat was grilled and was quite tasty.

  5. Dave

    When can we get Kindle versions of your books? It’s 2013 and I refuse to buy paper versions of anything anymore. Help the environment out a little!

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