- 1 Rattlesnake Meat
- 2 What does Rattlesnake meat taste like?
- 3 How to Cook Rattle Snake Meat
- 4 Who Eats Rattle Snake?
- 5 Where to buy Rattlesnake meat?
- 6 Is Rattlesnake meat legal in the United States?
- 7 Rattlesnake Meat Nutrition Facts:
- 8 Rattlesnake Meat: Frequently Asked Questions
Rattlesnakes are common in North and Southwest America. They have scaly bodies, an iconic tail with black & white bands, a thin neck region, a forked tongue, and a triangular head. The rattlers are famous for the distinctive rattling sound they produce when sending a warning to probable enemies.
These pit vipers can grow up to 3-6 feet long. Some can even grow as long as 8 feet long with an average weight of 10 pounds.
Depending on species, rattlers can be black, gray, brown, rust olive, or cream. They live in any habitat that can harbor snakes and other ectothermic animals. You can spot them in deserts, rocky hillsides, swamps, prairies, forests, plains, low growing shrubs, and meadows.
Like many snakes, rattlesnakes have an insatiable appetite for gophers, lizards, insects, birds, mice, rats, and other small animals. Given that, you are likely to find them at your garden or neighborhood, more so if you reside in the North and South Western part of America.
A dreadful reptile with venomous fangs, the rattlesnake is also an exotic delicacy in Southwest America. Its lean, white meat has a relish flavor, a chewy texture, and tons of nutrients and minerals.
Today, rattlesnake meat isn’t just a delicacy in Southwest American, but it has become a pastime for adventurists from various regions. Many of them enjoy turning something lethal into a meal.
If you wish to incorporate rattlers into your exotic diet, here is a crash course in rattlesnake meat basics. It sheds light on every bit of information you would want to know before you leap into the craze of rattlesnake eaters.
What does Rattlesnake meat taste like?
If you search online, you will likely find sites claiming that the meat of rattlesnake tastes like that of chicken. But, enthusiasts who have tasted this exotic meat say that the claims aren’t absolutely true.
Rattlesnake meat tastes more like white fish, frog, pheasant, elk, or half-starved tilapia. Like any snake meat, the rattlesnake is chewy and tough because it has many muscle tissues. It is light pink in appearance.
Since the rattlers’ meat has a mild flavor, Southwesterners and other snake meat lovers like to enhance its flavor with spices such as cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other seasonings.
How to Cook Rattle Snake Meat
Rattlesnake enthusiasts in Oklahoma and Texas like to grill, smoke, or barbecue meat from this venomous villain of the world. However, while these methods of cooking rattlesnake are standard, they aren’t the only ones.
As rattlesnake meat keeps getting popular, top chefs, adventurists, and other snake meat enthusiasts have contrived several creative culinary methods of extracting maximum goodness from this rare delicacy.
Some of the culinary methods you would want to try include:
⦁ Rattlesnake chili
If you love chili, rattlesnake meat will not disappoint. Simmer it in water and lemon juice for 60 minutes to separate the flesh from its small bones. Then, combine the de-boned meat with chopped onions, garlic, tomato, and bell pepper. Slow cook the meat for 6-8 hours to make your chili.
⦁ Rattlesnake meat bites
Like any meat, you can use rattlesnake to make delightful bites. Cut your snake into 3-inch pieces, and deep them in egg white. Afterward, dredge the snake cuts in a mix of cornmeal and pepper. Deep fry the snake meat cuts in vegetable oil until they turn golden.
⦁ Roast it over an open fire
If you are camping, and you have fewer kitchenware for making meat bites or preparing chili, you can just cook this serpentine delicacy over an open fire. Use sticks to hang the meat over the open flames until its tender. If you have aluminum foils, wrap the snake meat, and throw it into your fire to cook.
Who Eats Rattle Snake?
Cowboys and snake hunters in the west are well known for staking out the desert or mountains to kill and partake of this pit viper. However, they aren’t the only ones enamored with eating rattlers.
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.
Where to buy Rattlesnake meat?
Rattlesnake meat isn’t just preserved for South Westerners, Asians, or snake hunters who have the courage to harvest this deadly slithering reptile. But, it is for any daredevil who wants to challenge their taste buds.
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.
If you want wholesale rattlesnake meat, order from snake or reptile farms that specialize in rearing these ectothermic animals for meat. A quick online search will direct you to multiple exotic farms near you. You can also get fresh cuts from reputable online stores that sell exotic meats.
Is Rattlesnake meat legal in the United States?
In most states, selling and consuming rattlesnake meat is legal. Though, in California, the law forbids both the eating and selling of endangered rattlesnakes, such as the Western diamondback.
Rattlesnake Meat Nutrition Facts:
Though harvested from a venomous source, rattlers’ meat contains loads of nutrients that would help you achieve and maintain optimal health. Some of the nutrients in this exotic delicacy include:
⦁ Lean, low-fat, and low-calorie protein
Just like any meat, snake meat is rich in proteins. Its meat contains low-fat amounts and fewer calories. Therefore, it is an excellent alternative for meat lovers who wish to cut down their calorific and fat intake.
⦁ Linoleic acid
Rattlesnake meat contains sufficient amounts of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat with several benefits. Harvard School of public health’s experts report that linoleic acid reduces the risk of various cardiovascular conditions, supports weight loss, and lowers cancer risk.
This exotic delicacy contains vitamins A, B1, and B2. Vitamin A supports vision, musculoskeletal, and skin health. Vitamin B1 fuels fat metabolism, and it helps the body to cope up with stress. Vitamin B2 improves the body’s energy levels, and it boosts the function of your body’s vital organs.
Rattlesnake meat is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and iron. Calcium will increase your bone’s strength, and magnesium boosts your body’s energy levels, supports mental health, and it normalizes blood pressure. Iron supports the formation of hemoglobin, DNA, and genes.
So, whether you’re watching your weight, have a taste for the obscure, or you are a fascinated foodie exploring a new cuisine, the rattlesnake is something you have to try at least once. You might even become hooked and try cooking your own – just watch out for its tiny bones.
Rattlesnake Meat: Frequently Asked Questions
Rattlesnake meat: Is it safe?
Rattlesnake meat is safe when cooked at temperatures that can eliminate all possible germs, parasites, and bacteria. Actually, you can eliminate all these germs by cooking your meat at temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit for at least one hour.
Apart from germs, it is essential to note that snake meat contains several tiny bones that can choke you. Therefore, it is prudent to dine with restraint when enjoying your serpentine meal.
If you are a hunter, take maximum carefulness when killing, beheading, or skinning this pit viper. Why? This venomous snake can strike back when cornered, and as well, it can bite when dead.
Is snake meat healthy?
Consuming snake meat isn’t just adventurous, but it is also healthy. Like most game meat, the flesh is rich in proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. It is has fewer calories and saturated fats.
Moreover, the meat is free of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMOs, and other synthetic compounds associated with commercially grown animals. Cooking breaks down all venom present in this meat.
How do you skin a rattlesnake?
If you have just hunted a rattlesnake and wish to make a savory meal out of the venomous villain of the world, here is the straightforward process of skinning it.
⦁ Behead the rattler, and dispose of the head.
⦁ Wash the rattlesnake thoroughly to eliminate dirt and parasites
⦁ Insert a sharp knife into the rattler’s anal vent, and make an incision all along to the rattlesnake’s head end. You can incise your rattlesnake from the head end.
⦁ At the head end, use a sharp knife to separate the skin from the snake’s body.
⦁ After you’ve freed enough skin, use your hands to pull it off the snake’s body.
Here is a video tutorial to walk you through the rattlesnake skinning process.
Is rattlesnake red meat?
Ideally, meat from birds, fish, and reptiles is considered as white fish. For that reason, we would classify rattlesnake as white meat, simply because rattlesnake is a reptile. Red meat is obtained from mammals.
What are the dangers of eating rattlesnake meat?
While rattlesnake meat sounds like a great gastronomic delicacy, consuming it comes with a few dangers you ought to know. For instance, just like any reptile meat, snake meat can contain disease-causing parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
If ingested raw, these parasites can cause deadly diseases like trichinosis, sparganosis, salmonellosis, and pentastomiasis. You can eliminate all bacteria, viruses, and parasites by observing proper culinary ethics.