Monday, June 09, 2008

May I offer you something slithery Madame?

I've cataloged several of our strange dining experiences in China, but there are many things we have not been brave enough to try...



This gentleman's wares were on display in a restaurant that doubled as a menagerie. In southern China, the obsession with freshness means that whenever possible, your dinner is kept alive until the last possible moment. It appeared that snakes are a less popular option than fish, shrimp and eels heavily stocked in nearby tanks. Men in rubber waders stood in the tanks ready to scoop up the orders. A selection of insects was also available. That fellow was equipped with a butterfly net to take the unlucky grasshoppers to their final end. I intended to take more photos to share with you, but after I photographed this gentleman, he pulled a five foot long snake from its cage and unfurled it by its tail quite enthusiastically for me. I beat a hasty retreat to the relative safety of our table, much to his amusement.



I'm not particularly fond of close proximity to snakes, but my heart did go out to these fellows. It seems a most undignified way to exit the world. At least cows are permitted to do it in relative privacy. These poor gents were just whacked over the head and fried up in front of the crowd. Or maybe its just the honesty of knowing exactly what you are eating that makes me uncomfortable as a Westerner. Either way, I'm not eager to sample snake.

2 comments:

Nicholas Prigge said...

The thought of eating snake is just about the grossest thing in the history of the world. And I hate to quibble but, yes, snakes deserve to go out like that. Vile creatures who have no business living amongst us!

Miss B said...

I'm with you. There is something quite alarming about a creature that moves on land without any legs. The Chinese say its good for the fire in the blood, whatever that means.

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