An extravagant dinner is a big part of the recent Chinese Mid Autumn Festival celebration (a much tastier part than the moon cakes). Mrs. Stevo and I were lucky enough to dine with some friends, Kejia or Hakka people. When I heard snake was on the menu I started to highly anticipate the meal. Would it taste like chicken, as I had heard? Frog, another legendary chicken-flavored meat, does taste somewhat like chicken I had discovered.
Mrs. Stevo has a pathological fear of snakes. Not like, “Yikes, a snake!” More like, a crying fit that requires a sedative. This fear isn’t limited to the live reptile: It also extends to anything that looks like (in her perception) a snake. Toy snakes, the elongated shadow of a moth, gerbils, all cause a screaming fit. Mrs. Stevo was a little hesitant to attend the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in case live snakes were slithering around. That was not the case, the snakes were cooked.
The yellow-tinted snake wine tasted venomous. It was if the snake was biting the inside of your mouth from the great hereafter. It wasn’t without its charms but not a tipple I would partake of every day. I did not sample the snake gallbladder wine. I will only go so far in my efforts to culturally assimilate.
An earthen pot held snake and chicken soup. The steamy, light-flavored broth did indeed taste like chicken. I didn’t get to eat the snake meat: Mrs. Stevo’s nerves started to get jittery when she realized the pot was full of snake. The fact the snake was deceased and had been cooked for several hours didn’t matter much.
The giant platter of snake meat looked a lot like fried fish fillets. The skin was a greyish black. As I pulled the meat from the bones I was a tad repulsed. You’re eating a snake, a gross slithering creature, my inner monologue droned. I pushed forward, eating the snake fillet, and then another.
Yes, snake does taste like chicken. The texture, at least of the snake I ate, was chicken-esque.
My next goal, a difficult one, is eating monkey. Yes, the look cute on TV, that’s just good PR. If you have ever dealt with a real monkey (the little bastards) you’d ask for an invite to the feast.