In Britain, the idea of eating snakes is about as alien as an episode of Rick and Morty. While we’ll scoff plenty of weird things without hesitation, snakes are so unusual that most Britons would rather eat oats boiled in a sheep’s stomach than go near them. As it turns out, this might mean we’re missing a trick.
On the other side of the Atlantic, one Arizona restaurant has developed a reputation for pushing the potential of snake cookery to exciting new places. While it might seem stomach-turning to someone sitting down to a bowl of haggis in Strathclyde, there’s no doubt that their approach has proved seriously popular. Who knew that there was such an audience for rattlesnake?
Rustler’s Rooste, located just south of Phoenix, is primarily a steakhouse and barbecue joint. The menu is full of ribs, beef and any of the other dishes you’d typically associate with generously portioned, all-American dining. However, hidden away on the “Appetizers” section of the menu is the restaurant’s serpentine piece de resistance.
The dish, which is described as “crispy fried and served with a chipotle ranch”, is sliced into bite-sized slivers before being dusted in flour and plunged into a deep fat fryer. It’s plated up alongside a portion of the animals’ vertebrae, which serves as a grisly reminder that the meat is all butchered in house.
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As if the prospect of eating a deadly snake wasn’t odd enough, the meat is served with a portion of “prickly pear cactus fries”, made from the plentiful plants that dot the surrounding desert. The whole dish is a crunchy tribute to two of Arizona’s most recognisable natives.
A plate of “Authentic Rattlesnake” will set you back $19.95. Anyone who feels brave enough to give the dish a go also has the option of purchasing an “I ate the snake” T-shirt for $15.95, while the two can be bought together for $31.95. It will certainly be a talking point next time you eat out in England.