Can you eat snake eggs?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you eat snake eggs?” Also, we’ll explore how snake eggs can be eaten, what are the traits of snake eggs, and when people should avoid eating snake eggs. 

Can you eat snake eggs? 

Snake eggs, like fowl eggs and many other reptile eggs, are edible, on the condition that they are properly cooked, and any bacteria in them are eradicated by high temperatures. 

In some countries, snake eggs are regarded as a delicacy, and there are many recipes such as baked snake eggs, snake egg curry, fried snake eggs, etc. 

Edible snake eggs are also known as slug eggs and are unfertilized. They have a different appearance to those that harbor unhatched snakes, as they tend to be smaller and have a slightly yellow tinted shell. 

Depending on the species of snake, slug eggs can be of differing sizes, with larger snake types laying larger-sized slug eggs in their cluster.

Some snakes don’t lay eggs but are viviparous–which means that they give birth to hatched offspring, and the eggs they pass are slugs, which are edible. 

Snake eggs are a culinary delicacy in Asian countries such as Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand and wine.

Alternatively, there is a dish called rattlesnake eggs, which, despite its name, has nothing to do with actual snake eggs, and in fact alludes to a recipe made with stuffed jalapeño peppers, ground meat and cream cheese. 

What are the traits of snake eggs? 

Snake eggs are distinctively oblong (long and round), and depending on the species they can measure between 1 to 5 inches in length, and if the specimens within expand beyond their initial size, they will too. 

Snakes lay their eggs in groups that stick together, known as clutches, and as they have a leathery consistency, and as they clump together, they can acquire a somewhat irregular shape.

In the wild, snakes lay eggs in niches that easily provide shelter from the elements, such as rainfall, solar radiation, wind, predators, and drastic temperature variations. This means that you’ll find snake eggs on the ground level, and likely will have to do some digging up. 

Snake egg shells are also malleable, unlike bird eggs that have stiff, inflexible shells. A snake’s egg is designed to absorb moisture from its exterior during an unhatched snake’s growth. 

Healthy eggs have a white or otherwise cream-like color, and eggs that have a decaying product (unborn snake) can transition to blue, green, ochre, or brown. 

If you’re breeding snakes, these eggs should be hastily removed from the clutch, to avoid the contamination of the others with microbes that may have begun to set in. 

Candling can be used to determine whether there’s a viable product in the eggs, and it can clue breeders into what stage, growth, and how healthy a laid egg is.

Notably, an important difference between fowl eggs and snake eggs is that the latter don’t have separate components like chicken or other fowl eggs do. 

The inside of a snake egg contains a single, one-phased yolk that resembles a custard. 

When should people avoid eating snake eggs? 

People should avoid eating snake eggs when they belong to an endangered species, when there’s a risk of them being poorly handled and cooked, when it’s breeding season, and when they have health issues for which snake eggs may be contraindicated. 

Endangered species should not be preyed upon by humans, much less when there are other food options readily available to quell your hunger. Consumption of these eggs is poor stewardship, which can negatively impact their environment when predator population numbers take a plunge. 

In some regions, authorities may instill a ban on snake eggs foraging during their breeding seasons, and these guidelines should be respected for them to maintain steady populational levels

Snakes are intermediate predators that help regulate populations of lower links on the food chain, such as rodents, amphibians, and other smaller species that if left unchecked, may become pests. 

If they’re poorly handled or cooked–avoid them. Some recipes may be safer than others, but their quality, alluding to how they’re sourced, also plays a role in them being innocuous. 

Eggs that are discolored and have begun to spoil should not be cooked, though some may be less than willing to discard them. After all, they’re somewhat difficult to procure. 

In this case, we advise our readers to prioritize their health and eschew the dish, to avoid symptoms and complications from food poisoning. 

If your doctor has strictly advised you against consuming food rich in cholesterol–snake eggs are not a good idea for you to eat. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query: “Can you eat snake eggs?” Also, we’ve explored how snake eggs can be eaten, what are the traits of snake eggs, and when people should avoid eating snake eggs. 

References 

https://nature.discoveryplace.org/blog/take-a-peek-at-snake-eggs

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-poisoning#:~:text=Foodborne%20illness%2C%20more%20commonly%20referred,food%20poisoning%20isn’t%20unusual.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18523-4

https://eia-international.org/what-can-you-do/take-action/dont-use-or-eat-parts-of-endangered-animals/

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