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Chef dies making cobra soup?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

A chef in China was preparing a soup that required a dangerous ingredient -- an Indochinese spitting cobra -- when the serpent attacked and killed him. But the craziest part: the venomous snake was able to do so 20 minutes after the man had severed the snake's head off.

Before cooking the five-foot snake, which is considered a healthy delicacy in Asia, Peng Fan decapitated it, but waited 20 minutes before throwing its head into a trashcan. The next thing diners overheard were loud screams coming from the kitchen.

post #2 of 16
Snakes are known for this reaction.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 16
Lesson: The next time someone says "We need to cut the head off the snake" as a definitive end to a battle....

......don't believe them. redface.gif
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was thinking about this last night. I think a restaurant should serve fresh food but maybe this was to fresh.  First, how did this chef cut the head off in the first place.  Very few restaurants buy live chicken, why a live snake?  Second, his station must be messy if he is leaving a snake's head on it for twenty minutes.  I can remember from my youth being told that snakes having their heads cut off didn't die until after sunset, so that might have been a true saying.

post #5 of 16

Choosing a live animal to eat is pretty common in China. When you shop, you buy a live fish, a live chicken. It might be slaughtered right then depending. And so it goes for restaurants too. Snake soup is considered medicinal and highly valued. 

 

On a similar note, there is the dish drunken shrimp where live shrimp are put in rice wine, become drunk (and probably alcohol poisoning, tissue damage across their gills and so on). Then they are promptly cooked while full of wine. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 16

Didn't he watch Princess Bride?  Mostly dead is different from fully dead.

post #7 of 16

This story lends credence to the saying-In China, people eat anything with legs but the table and anything with wings but an airplane.  Where cobras fit into this story is beyond my ken.

 

Really though, isn't this just a bit much? Have people become so afraid of real theater that they must turn dining into a dramatic event? It denigrates both in my view, not to mention the wrongful exploitation of wild animals. 

 

There's plenty of good food to eat without forcing the inedible and dangerous onto the plate.

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Liquored up and laquered down,
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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #8 of 16
@foodnfoto I know where you're coming from but other cultures have their own ideas of what is a good thing to eat or not. There are many reasons why someone would choose to eat a snake for protein over something else. Perhaps there are believed medicinal purposes or it's tradition. This was a freak accident and should have nothing to do with judgment over what others choose to eat.

By this logic we shouldn't flambé or use a blow torch to brûlée. Even carving a turkey at thanksgiving would be too theatrical.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

Choosing a live animal to eat is pretty common in China.

Not that uncommon in the USA either, think lobster tank, think oyster bar. On a side note, thanks for the memory bump on drunken shrimp. Haven't made them in years, what a great dish though!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foodnfoto View Post
 

There's plenty of good food to eat without forcing the inedible and dangerous onto the plate.

Most animals, and quite a few non-animals, can be dangerous if improperly handled.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #10 of 16

I don't think it's so much what to eat than how it is done.  It tells us so much about ourselves as humans the way we harvest animals.  The one video that's on youtube where they fry the live fish for sport is disgusting, and I'm not above eating fish, and I know it's not human, but it's doubly disgusting to take the few traits that look human in animals and dehumanize them further.  Humans suck.

post #11 of 16

Another reason for choosing live animals is they stay fresh without refrigeration. This is a country where refrigeration and the associated butchering and keeping ability is still fairly new to the common citizen. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #12 of 16

Yet another reason for last minute processing is that an egg laying chicken is helping to feed your family even before you decide to have it for the evening meal, so it is only practical and wise to wait until the last moment.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #13 of 16

I remember as a kid, visiting at my grandfather's house in the woods outside a town in northeast Missouri : he often told me that  if we were to encounter and "kill"  a rattlesnake, not at all uncommon around there, I was NEVER to touch or handle it in any way, as it could reflexively bite for a long time after its perceived death.  

 

Guess that works for a lot of snakes.  Glad I never had to test it out.

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

@phath I remember in the mid 50s, while stationed in England, the fish and game markets hung their chickens, rabbits, pheasants and so forth in the outside of their shops.  I guess they were killed that morning and eaten in a day or two. Fish were kept on ice.  Lack of refrigeration for sure.

 

@MikeLM  I'm in your neighboring state Oklahoma and there are rattle snake roundups at a couple towns when the weather starts warming up in early spring.  Then they have fried rattle snake.  Yes, taste like chicken they say haha.  Not something I would want to do or would do, is hunt for them.

 

@Cheflayne nawwww, kill a young rooster and let the hen keep laying eggs.  But your thinking is on the point if you need a big old hen.

post #15 of 16

.....and I am amused by the people who won't eat veal because of the way they are raised and slaughtered.

Things that make you go Hmmmmmmmm!

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Things that make you go Hmmmmmmmm!

And THAT might make a great topic title, Chef Ross. Start one for us! :D

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