Article by James Kay
Depending on how adventurous you are with your food, a snake pizza in Hong Kong might be something to tick off the bucket list in the future.
American pizza giant Pizza Hut has partnered with Ser Wong Fun, a century-old snake restaurant in Central Hong Kong, to bring a modern twist to the traditional dish.
The unique creation features shredded snake meat, black mushrooms, and Chinese dried ham – essential components of an authentic snake stew – aiming to generate online buzz for the Hong Kong franchise, as reported by CNN.
While snake stew has been a longstanding favourite among some diners in Hong Kong and southern China, this unconventional pizza offering takes the concept to a new level.
According to local Cantonese tradition, the best time to consume snake is “when the autumn wind begins to blow,” believed to be the period when snakes fatten up in preparation for hibernation.
Many attribute medicinal properties to snake meat, claiming it improves skin conditions and warms the body. Similar culinary practices involving snakes can be found in other parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Thailand, where snakes are farmed for consumption.
Pizza Hut Hong Kong shared in a statement before the dish’s release last week: “Paired with cheese and diced chicken, the snake meat becomes richer in taste,” emphasising its “nourishing” qualities that “can boost blood circulation,” according to traditional Chinese medicine beliefs.
The 9-inch snake pizza, featuring abalone sauce instead of the conventional tomato base, is available for a limited time until November 22nd.
Speaking to CNN, some residents, like Mabel Sieh, expressed apprehension, stating: “I think it’s scary. Snakes aren’t food in many cultures, especially in the West.”
Others, like Rachel Wong, a native of Hong Kong and a fan of snake soup, are excited about the new addition. Wong described the texture as “a bit like chicken” with flavors reminiscent of fish and other seafood.
Karen Chan, general manager of Pizza Hut Hong Kong and Macao, explained that the company collaborated with Ser Wong Fun to create a mixed snake recipe using Chinese rat snakes, banded kraits, and white banded snakes.
She added that the “extraordinary snake pizzas offer a perfect balance to all flavours, both tantalising and savoury for this season.”
In addition to the snake pizza, Pizza Hut Hong Kong has plans to introduce a pizza featuring Chinese preserved sausages, inspired by a popular claypot rice dish among locals, as the weather cools down.
Featured image: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Pizza Hut/Getty