Cobra ritual in Vietnam
Many travelers visit Vietnam to find exotic. There are sea resorts not so far from your home, but seeing, feeling, tasting all the most exotic is a special pleasure that can not be compared with any other impressions of the holiday.
Vietnam as well as other countries of Southeast Asia is known for its exotic dishes. Walking the streets for the first time, you can easily spot a roasted crocodile on a skewer. You can find huge crabs and lobsters around, and the restaurants and cafes offer fried ostrich or soup from swallow’s nests in their menu.
But there is one dish, or actually a few dishes that combine one dinner, which you will not find in every eatery. These are the dishes made with cobra meat, that involve a whole ritual.
Cobra is a venomous snake, and hunting it can be very dangerous for the hunter. Therefore, cobra meat is considered a delicacy and is quite expensive. In Vietnam, the cult of eating cobra is quite common, and the prices are not too high, so that almost everyone who came for holidays to this country can afford the snake ritual.
When one comes to a restaurant, where cobras are served, first, he takes a look at it alive, to make sure that he’ll be served this kind of snake. Then the cobra’s head is cut off, and many superstitious Vietnamese believe that the head of the snake need to be covered with a cloth bag, so it wouldn’t see who kills her. Otherwise the relatives of the snake can take revenge on its murderer. Nowadays not all the people stick to this tradition. Snake blood is drained and mixed with vodka. The result is a blood-colored liquid, which at first glance seems a dubious pleasure to try. But in fact, the drink tastes of vodka, and there is nothing wrong with drinking it with dishes made of cobra meat.
In addition, cobra’s heart and bile are extracted. The snake’s heart continues to beat for a few more minutes. It is believed that the person who ate the beating heart of the cobra, absorbs her wisdom. The heart is washed down with vodka with blood.
Several different dishes can me cooked with snake meat. A part of the cobra is used to make soup, pieces of meat are cut for roasting, minced and rolled in leaves to be grilled. Even the skin can be used. It is fried in oil to get a chips-like snack.
Cobra meat is believed to have a beneficial effect on the human body. It increases potency, improves blood circulation and visual acuity. In Asia, snakes are considered a symbol of longevity, and old people eat their meat to prolong their life. And Asian girls believe that their skin will become smooth and young is they include snake dishes in their diet.
Probably, someone might find the cobra ritual to be cruel and bloodthirsty. But it is worth thinking about the other side of the coin: to understand the mentality of local people, to plunge into the local environment and to get acquainted with their old traditions, associated with cooking, among others.