Can you eat snake eggs?

Can you Eat Snake Eggs?

Snakes have been eaten in many parts of Asia and so also their eggs. In places like China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, and Kampuchea snakes have been present in diets since centuries.

It is, therefore, quite natural to realize that where there are snakes as cuisine there are also great many snake eggs cooked and eaten.

Snakes are special delicacies in parts of China and have been eaten by people for around 2000 years or so.

Currently, snake cuisines are in heavy demand in many Asian countries where a booming economy has made people turn to experiment with newer dishes than it was thought possible previously. 

The idea of a snake eating perhaps came along with eating of snake eggs by humans.

The snake eggs were likely easier target and to get a few when the female snake was not available is quite easy.

There is, however, no proper records to prove as to when humans started to consume snake eggs.

Yet nowadays snake foods are served in many parts of the world and so are the snake eggs. 

Can you Eat Snake Eggs: Choosing Snake Eggs

Choosing Snake Eggs

In many parts of China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries snakes are consumed with great relish. Apart from being nutritious snakes are also seen to be the cure of several kinds of diseases.

It is, therefore, not uncommon for families of people visiting niche restaurants where different variety of snake dishes are sold to customers.

Where there are snakes, the snake eggs are also not far behind.  Naturally, there was an equal demand for snake eggs too for customers.

The preparation of snake foods and snake eggs vary from restaurant to restaurant, yet in Honk Kong, these may be easily affordable to quite expensive depending upon the restaurant. 

Snake eggs are found only from those snakes that are oviparous.

The percentages of snakes that represent this group are quite huge and therefore, you find a lot of snake eggs if you are really careful and hunt for them methodically.

Examples of such snakes are rat snakes, King snakes, cobras, black mambas, grass snakes, adders and several others. They roughly make up for 70% of the population of snakes. 

Snakes that are viviparous are those that do not lay eggs at all.

These snakes feed their young ones inside their body with the help of placenta. Examples of these snakes are the boa and the green anaconda. 

Then there are snakes that are ovoviviparous that have eggs developed inside their body yet when the baby is born the egg is retained inside while the hatchlings wriggle out. 

It is easy to realize from the above that humans consume eggs that are laid by oviparous snakes. 

Thinking of keeping snakes as a pet? Check out our guide on ‘Do Snakes Like Being Pet?’

Consuming Snake Eggs

Snake eggs are consumed by humans in different ways and these are eaten raw or semi-cooked or fully cooked.

When considering the venomous of the oviparous eggs, it must be noted that the snake eggs have not become fully fertile.

If so, then there are chances that there are offspring within the egg and these may prove to be venomous. If a raw egg is eaten then this may prove to be fatal. 

Although snakes are boiled and the venom inside is destroyed it still may have different implications for humans depending upon their health and immunity.

Hence, many people may develop some kind of allergies when consuming snake eggs although by far studies have proved to be quite harmless for healthy human beings.

Although the high level of nutrition in snake eggs are debatable yet for many people especially in Asia this has become almost routine. 

Snakes are always believed to have good nutrients that increase the libido and fertility in humans.

The Chinese think that they also give natural immunity to the body as a whole. This is perhaps only for snakes yet eggs too may possess some of these properties.

Some nutrition experts believe that eating chicken eggs are way better to improve the body than consuming snake eggs which they find to be quite inferior. 

Snakes are bred in captivity for the production of these eggs in abundance.

There are repositories in China that churn out snake eggs in large numbers and it is also said that there are villages in China that literally live on breeding and selling live snakes and so also eggs.

Naturally, this means that the aim of these breeders is to capture and multiply as many oviparous snakes so that they may lay eggs in abundance. 

In the wild coming across snake eggs is rather a difficult task. It is often fraught with risks as the female snake may have been just away for a sun bask.

Since snakes are cold-blooded many snakes resort to sun basking in order to keep the levels of the temperature of their body in balance.

Upon returning to their nest they may stealthily attack the intruder. This may prove to be quite fatal. Again, a lot of eggs are lost in the wild due to predators. Snake eggs are cherished by certain birds and animals and hence only a few eggs actually hatch properly. 

In the wild, some snake species’ eggs hatch within 45 days while for others it may extend up to 90 days. There may be little evidence to suggest that the eggs in the wild are ready for hatching.

In the commercial centers like in many Asian countries and also in some other parts of the world, the eggs are cut open to facilitate young hatchlings to come out.

This makes the egg fertilization 100 % successful, while in the wild a lot of eggs do not make to the end of fertilization. 

Snakes and Snake Eggs as Food Chain

Snake Soup

Currently, it has become a fashion to consume anything mild to exotic and even weird. The snakes have long been on the menu of humans for centuries and so also snake eggs.

Hence, in many parts of the world today you find snake soup and snake gravy and other snake dishes available that have resulted in a large supply chain of human activities and employment.

In China alone, hundreds and thousands of snakes are bred to be taken to slaughterhouses and served with food in high-end restaurants. 

The demand for snake meals or dishes is not restricted to only non-venomous snakes, but also to highly venomous ones too.

The cooks before the cooking start to cut off the snakehead and then cut it open from head to tails leaving a large deep gash.

Thereafter, the snake is processed and its internal organs are separated.

Some organs are special delicacies for some dishes while the whole snake may be served for a group of people depending upon the size of the snake. It is quite natural to have a few snake eggs added along with the dish to pep up your appetite. 

The cost of the dishes varies from restaurants to restaurants and there are very high-class hotels that serve expensive snake dishes to their customers.

It is generally seen that sometimes company meetings take place amidst a set of snake dishes and many believe it to be a good sign. 

It is not only a food chain that has improved considerably, but snake parks or repositories that breed snakes and collect their eggs have also become great tourist centers.

This naturally gives added revenues to the government apart from employing hundreds of people. Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and some other countries thrive in this kind of supply chains. 

Can Human Eat Snake Eggs?

Now we come back to the question raised earlier as to whether a human being can consume snake eggs?

The fact is that they can and without any fear as long as the eggs are cooked and so also the snake portions.

It is better to avoid having the head cooked and eaten as it may still have venom inside it. 

Many people around the world may not be able to eat snakes or its eggs as they are not used to it.

Some tastes may sound or look unpalatable while for others this may be quite easy enough. Hence, a great deal depends upon as to whether you are coming from a culture where eating snakes raw or half-cooked is quite natural. 

As far as the nutrition of snake eggs is concerned it is believed that they may not be up to the mark when compared with chicken eggs.

There is, however, a lot of beliefs and superstition that goes with eating snakes and those that do not like the taste may resort to eating it just for fulfilling the beliefs and addressing the superstition.

Hence, eating snakes and snake eggs depends solely upon the individual and nothing else.

Of course, it may be way difficult for vegetarians to taste snake eggs or snake dishes yet for those that indulge in the wild variety of non-vegetarian dishes tasting such dishes may not do any harm as such. 

Eventually, a great deal of taste depends upon the way the mind adjusts to a particular dish.

In the distant past, our ancestors ate anything and some were even raw and therefore the best judge of snake eggs is people that eat them for their own satisfaction. 

Looking for more interesting facts about snakes? Check out our further guides here.


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