Rattlesnake is light and chewy, with a delicate flavor that resembles chicken. Rattlesnake chili is a favorite dish and is found at a number of restaurants in the Southwestern U.S.
The popularity of this unique meat is rising and eating Rattle Snake has become a pastime for many who rather enjoy turning something lethal into dinner. If you dare to try it, here is a crash course in rattlesnake meat basics.
A fearsome reptile with fangs, a death bite and a reputation for being angry and reactive, the Rattle Snake is also one of Southwest America’s exotic cuisines. Some might even call it delicacy. In the United States, there are 11 types of rattlesnakes, including the Western diamondback, Eastern diamondback, sidewinder, the pigmy and the timber.
What does Rattle Snake meat taste like?
The myth is that rattlesnake tastes like chicken, but that’s not completely true. The gamey meat actually tastes like a white fish or frog. It is very chewy and tough because snake has a lot of muscle tissue. Snake meat is very versatile because it will take on the flavors of whatever seasonings you use.
The meat itself has a very mild taste. So, many Southwesterners like to flavor the snake with spices such as cayenne pepper. However, using garlic powder and onion powder is standard.
How to cook Rattle Snake meat?
After rattlesnake hunts and festivals in places like Texas and Oklahoma, snake meat enthusiasts like to grill and smoke them or barbecue them. Others like to cut the snake into 3-inch pieces, coat the pieces in flour and corn meal before pan frying them to create rattlesnake nuggets.
You can even make rattlesnake jerky by dehydrating it. Since Rattle Snake meat can be rather tough and hard to chewy, many chefs marinate it in a lemon-based liquid or even yogurt to tenderize the flesh. Also, try softening it with a wooden or metal meat tenderizer before cooking.
Before you cook Rattle Snake meat you must clean and skin it thoroughly since reptiles can harbor salmonella. You must also chop off the head since it still contains poison, which can be transferred to diners if the fangs prick a body part. The venomous rattlesnake may still bite after death because, according to scientists, the body retains a bite reflex.
Where to buy Rattle Snake?
If you prefer that someone else cook and serve snake to you on a platter, try Southwestern restaurants like Rustler’s Rooste, Brat Haus or Texas Roadhouse, all in Phoenix, Arizona or Lodge on the Desert in Tucson.
Who Eats Rattle Snake?
Cowboys and snake hunters in the west aren’t the only ones enamored with eating rattlesnake. Although such people will stake out the desert or mountains to kill their own and buy fancy knives to fillet and partake of the pit viper. Many visitors to the west who want to try something different or daredevils who like challenging their taste buds are also experimenting with the meat and seeking out restaurants that dish it. Health enthusiasts who believe the rattlesnake has special healing powers are also fond of eating the special meat.
In Asia and South American countries, eating rattlesnake and other types of snake is common.
Is Rattle Snake meat legal in the United States?
In most states, selling and consuming rattlesnake meat is legal. However, in California, the law forbids both the eating and selling of endangered rattlesnakes, such as the Western diamondback.
Rattle Snake meat nutrition facts:
A lean, low-fat and low-calorie protein, rattlesnake meat offers the body a wealth of amino acids. It also has linolenic acid, which can purportedly ease inflammation and help fight heart disease. Vitamins and minerals in the snake range from calcium and iron to vitamin B1.
So, whether you’re watching your weight, have a taste for the obscure or are a fascinated foodie exploring a new cuisine, rattlesnake is something you have to try at least once. You might even become hooked and try cooking your own – just watch out for all the bones.