Snakes on a plate: Vietnam’s coiled cuisine

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This photo taken on August 24, 2018 shows chef Dinh Tien Dung collecting snake blood on a glass of rice wine at a specialty restaurant in Yen Bai province. (AFP)
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This photo taken on August 24, 2018 shows a customer consuming a snake sausage dish served at a specialty restaurant in Yen Bai province. (AFP)
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This photo taken on August 24, 2018 shows Dang Quoc Khanh holding a snake in his breeding farm in Yen Bai province. (AFP)
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This photo taken on August 24, 2018 shows chef Dinh Tien Dung cleaning the snakes at a specialty restaurant in Yen Bai province, Vietnam. (AFP)
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This photo taken on August 24, 2018 shows a cook preparing snake dish at a specialty restaurant in Yen Bai province. (AFP)
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This photo taken on August 24, 2018 shows chef Dinh Tien Dung preparing to cook a snake at a specialty restaurant in Yen Bai province while an assistant looks on. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Snakes on a plate: Vietnam’s coiled cuisine

  • It’s delicious, good for your health and good for your bones

YEN BAI, Vietnam: With their meat served up in a wide array of dishes and blood added to rice wine, snakes make a reputedly satisfying — and nourishing — meal in Vietnam.
Caught in the jungles of the north of the country, snake flesh is traditionally believed to help with cooling overheated body temperatures, relieving headaches and easing digestion.
Restaurants will cook it steamed or fried with lemongrass and chilli and serve it with a rice wine mixed with snake blood, said chef Dinh Tien Dung, who works at a restaurant in Yen Bai province three hours northwest of the capital Hanoi.
Holding a snake’s head with one hand, Dinh Tien Dung slit its body near the head with a knife and squeezed blood out of it, dripping it into a cup of rice wine.
“We make use of every part of the snake except its head and its scales,” said the 32-year-old.
Locals believe that only men over 50 should drink snake wine, as younger males are likely to experience “backache or impotence,” said restaurant owner Duong Duc Doc.
As for its flesh, the benefits to eating it are numerous, said snake-catcher Dang Quoc Khanh, a 35-year-old who has been trapping serpents in the jungle since he was a young boy.
“Snake meat is a very good food,” he said, “It’s delicious, good for your health and good for your bones.”
But wildlife expert Ioana Dungler from Four Paws International said killing wild snakes and disturbing the jungles’ ecosystem is unnecessary as global meat production should be sufficient.
“The whole process of these animals ending on a plate or in a drink is very painful... and it’s done for purposes that are not justified,” Dungler told AFP.


Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna

Updated 22 September 2018
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Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna

  • Rihanna's home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism
  • The singer has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart

NEW YORK: Rihanna is now Ambassador Rihanna, after her home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said that Rihanna — real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty — has been conferred the title of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
While the singer will not be formally accredited to another country, Mottley said that Rihanna — whose more colorful songs include “Bitch Better Have My Money” — would be in charge of bringing investment as well as encouraging education and tourism.
“I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country. Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on the responsibility,” Rihanna said in a statement dated Thursday.
Rihanna, 30, grew up in a troubled home in Barbados and was propelled to fame after visiting US producer Evan Rogers recognized her talents.
The singer, who since achieving stardom has lived primarily in Los Angeles and New York, has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart, more than any artist except The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey.