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About 24 hours ago, a 5' long canebrake rattlesnake nearly bit me puir auld grey-haired mither as she bent down to pull a weed in her garden. In her day, she was the 1st woman on the LSU rifle team and rose to become its captain, so instead of collapsing in a faint, she hobbled back to the house to get her rifle. Just inside the door, she met my aged father. His shotgun was within easier reach, so he grabbed it and neatly decapitated the snake with a load of buckshot. Then, knowing I'm into primitive stuff, they called me asking what to do with the carcass. So it spent the night in my fridge.

 

First thing this morning, I skinned and cleaned the carcass using scrap flakes of flint from my knapping debitage pile. Then I called up one of my Cajun fireman buddies. We were going to make sauce piquant out if it but had some calls between early morning and lunch, so instead we ended up deep-frying it with loads of Cajun seasoning and spices. We got about 9 feet of meat off the snake so this fed the entire clan with some left over after lunch for hors d'oeuvre with supper just now. My buddy also makes primitive bows and was looking for a rattlesnake skin to put on his latest creation, so I traded him the skin in exchange for him making me a necklace out of the vertabral column. If you've never seen such a necklace, they're simply amazing. This snake also had 12 full rattles plus the button, and I'm going to hang that on the end of a new atlatl I'm making. And the important internal organs disappeared amongst those who do or hang with practioners of voodoo and root work.

 

So, a word of advice.... Don't try to bite my mother :)

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Interesting story. I have had the pleasure of eating Diamond Back Rattler three times in my life. First time I was a kid, and my cousins killed one when we were camping in the Kings Canyon Forest, near Sequoya in central California. The other two were more recent as I live in the Mojave Desert and every once in awhile one will slither by the house. Darn good eating. I prefer them fried up. I am not sure if it is a fond memory of youth or not, but I recall that the forest snake tasted better than the desert variety.

 

 

Bon Appétit!

Edited by FenrisWlf

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Bullethead, it tastes like chicken, correct?

In my experience, it does. I've had frog legs, rattlesnake and alligator. All white meat critters. All very much like chicken.

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Hey, that is exactly the kind of mother I had expected you to have.

LousyAnna must appear quite exotic to the rest of the US of A.

 

Damn, I LOVE to try your special Cajun seasonings... :hyper:

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In my experience, it does. I've had frog legs, rattlesnake and alligator. All white meat critters. All very much like chicken.

 

All these critters, along with many types of fish, are essentially tasteless. But life's too short to eat bland food. Thus, proper gourmands view them as blank canvasses upon which to paint with spices and sauces. You could, of course, just pour the sauces in a glass, stir in the dry spices, and suck it up with the a straw, and you'd have the same taste, but then you'd miss the nutritional value and tummy-filling volume of the meat.

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All these critters, along with many types of fish, are essentially tasteless.

Is it just possible that years of imbibing Louisanna Flame Sauce has scorched your taste buds?

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Is it just possible that years of imbibing Louisanna Flame Sauce has scorched your taste buds?

 

I don't think so. For example, even when I eat habaneros, the heat fails to mask the wide range of flavors in that pepper, which is why I eat them. The same is why Tabasco sauce is much more popular than all other brands; it has a very nice flavor, the others are mostly just hot.

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Do you smoke fish in Louisiana? Maybe one could smoke the snake?

Where I come from, we smoke eels - a fat, but delicious meal!

Edited by Olham

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If it's all 'Very like Chicken'......May I suggest...you eat Chicken?

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I don't think so. For example, even when I eat habaneros, the heat fails to mask the wide range of flavors in that pepper, which is why I eat them. The same is why Tabasco sauce is much more popular than all other brands; it has a very nice flavor, the others are mostly just hot.

It should be noted that Bullethead praises the flavor in the peppers, not the meat. I suspect the 'scorched taste buds' theory still stands.

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Do you smoke fish in Louisiana? Maybe one could smoke the snake?

Where I come from, we smoke eels - a fat, but delicious meal!

I've tried smoking fish, but the damn things won't stay lit! :dntknw:

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Do you smoke fish in Louisiana? Maybe one could smoke the snake?

 

There are so many witty New Orleans-related answers I could give to this, but the mods would get twitterpated so I'd better not :grin: .

 

On the serious side, pretty much everybody in Lousy Anna has a smoker but AFAIK nobody smokes fish. Now ham, ribs, chicken, and sausage, definitely. But I'm pretty sure more people in Lousy Anna smoke crack than fish.

 

If it's all 'Very like Chicken'......May I suggest...you eat Chicken?

 

Chicken is sort of the last resort. First you have to run out of the flavorful wild stuff like venison, squirrel, goose, duck, turkey, and coon (called chaoui here). Then you have to run out of the flavorful domesticates of beef, pork, and goat (not to mention venison, goose, duck, and turkey). Then finally you have to run out of the traditional Lousy Anna stuff, all of which either have no flavor or taste nasty without massive doses of spices: crab, shrimp, crayfish, catfish, perch, crappie (called sac-a-lait here), bass, alligator, alligator gar, snake, turtle, and even possum.

 

If you look the world over, you'll find that all the spicy ethnic quisines are the traditional food of dirt-poor peasants. The stuff they had to eat either had zero flavor was was just plain nasty, so to hide the nastiness or give some zest to otherwise drab food, they all put all sorts of spices and peppers in their meals. That's why Cajun food is spicy and why we make hot sauce down here.

 

Do not, EVER, get Cajun food at a chain restaurant. Because they cater to national or even international palates, most of whom can't handle any pepper at all, these chains don't put any spices or peppers in their so-called "Cajun" dishes. Thus, all you get is the nastiness (or, at best, the lack of any taste at all).

 

It should be noted that Bullethead praises the flavor in the peppers, not the meat. I suspect the 'scorched taste buds' theory still stands.

 

Mais non! As I said, the meat has no taste--it doesn't even have the minimal flavor found in chicken--which is why you need peppers and spices to have something enjoyable. Without them, eating snake is like eating moist bread.

 

People who routinely eat spicy and hot foods have extremely sensitive palates. They can distinguish way more individual flavors than people who eat bland food and thus don't exercise their sense organs. If you want a qualified critic of food, wine, beer, tobacco, or anything else with wide spectrums of flavors missed by most folks, then get somebody who grew up exposed to such things. The least qualified are those who grew up eating bland food.

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On the serious side, pretty much everybody in Lousy Anna has a smoker but AFAIK nobody smokes fish.

Now ham, ribs, chicken, and sausage, definitely.

You don't know what you're missing. It only works with the fatter sorts of fish AFAIK.

We know (among others) smoked Makerel, Halibutt, Salmon and Eels.

The smoked fish is eaten cold (or when freshly smoked, warm), with horseradish sauce.

Taste: very delicious!

Best not to eat for dinner, as it may be a bit heavy in the tummy.

Or you drink something strong after dinner.

 

 

Edited by Olham

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No smoked fish? What a tragedy! Nothing beats smoked fish. I eat it regularly. Salmon and vendace (Coregonus albula) are my favourites.

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Hmmmm! And I will soon be in Ostfriesland, where I can get it all smoke-warm still! Yummie!!

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I don't buy it in plastic packs either. There are fishermen here in the market who sell freshly smoked fish. I always get my "fix" from them. :drinks:

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Plastic-packing and cooling ruin the smoothness and the flavour.

 

Here's another speciality, which you can only catch in the Wadden Sea: "Granat" or "Krabben"

(very small shrimps). Hard to peel, but most delicious. They cook them still on the trawlers;

then we buy them right from the boat in the harbour.

We eat them cold on dark bred, maybe with a fried egg 'sunny side up', or scrambled eggs.

Such a bred is called "Lotsenbrot" (Pilot's Bred - not the flying pilot here, but the naval one).

 

 

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No smoked fish? What a tragedy! Nothing beats smoked fish. I eat it regularly. Salmon and vendace (Coregonus albula) are my favourites.

Smoked Bluefish is a great favorite on the South Coast of Massachusetts.

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You don't know what you're missing. It only works with the fatter sorts of fish AFAIK.

We know (among others) smoked Makerel, Halibutt, Salmon and Eels.

The smoked fish is eaten cold (or when freshly smoked, warm), with horseradish sauce.

Taste: very delicious!

Best not to eat for dinner, as it may be a bit heavy in the tummy.

Or you drink something strong after dinner.

 

Oh yes, smoked fish is quite good. I'm a particular fan of the Arbroath Smokie, one of my ancestral foods. And the local Indians used to smoke fish a lot so I'm sure the early colonists adopted that habit if they didn't bring it with them. But it got lost somewhere along the line. Today in Lousy Anna, fish are either deep-fried or pan-fried or baked.

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.

 

Great story BH! I can just see you out there using your flint bits to skin that critter. I must disagree about rattlesnake having no real flavor though. The timber rattlers I've had the pleasure of preparing and eating had a very definite and unique flavor. Gamey, with almost a touch of mild fish taste, (Tilapia perhaps, though not quite). Cut it up and wash it in icy cold water, then simmer it in fresh water with a touch of lemon juice just long enough to remove the meat from the bones, about 45 minutes usually does the trick. After that, take the meat and fry it up in extra virgin olive oil with some sliced red and green peppers, a Vidalia onion, a minced garlic clove or two, a little fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Serve it over fresh steamed rice with some wild asparagus on the side and UMMMM DADDY, that's mighty tasty!

 

 

.

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Great story BH! I can just see you out there using your flint bits to skin that critter. I must disagree about rattlesnake having no real flavor though. The timber rattlers I've had the pleasure of preparing and eating had a very definite and unique flavor. Gamey, with almost a touch of mild fish taste, (Tilapia perhaps, though not quite

 

No need to imagine the scene. I've attached the least-graphic of the many pics taken of the operation. If you take a magnifying glass to that pic, you'll see the flake I'm using has a notch in the distal end. By chance, when I picked up a random flake to skin this snake with, I grabbed one I'd already used as an expedient tool. Its notch came from abrading way up inside the hafting notches of the large Archaic dart point I was making at the time. This flake came from early in the bifacing process of the point whose notches it ground and was lying between my feet at the time. This being my usual practice, no telling how long it had been lying in my debitage pile, but it was still plenty sharp. After skinning the snake, I tossed it back on my debitage pile.

 

It keeps me warm at night thinking of how my homestead will drive future archaeologists plumb nuts. Excavations here will reveal rock from all over the US, both raw and heat-treated, and broken point types from Paleo-Indian to historic times, not to mention all sorts of microliths and utilized flakes. So I'll have some sort of vengeance from beyond the grave, which is immortality of a sort :drinks:

 

 

 

Anyway, as to cooking snakes......

 

Your recipe sounds delicious, but I bet all you taste is olive oil and lemon. That's one of my favorite flavor combos, but the snake itself contributes nothing. Game herbivores and scavengers taste like what they eat but game predators either have a tanginess or nothing at all. It's like they filter out all the flavors absorbed by their prey or convert it to adrenaline, which tastes tangy. For instance, crayish eat mud and whatever dead animals are rotting in their pond. So that's what they taste like without heavy doses of spices. But rattlesnakes eat mice, rats, squirrels, chipmonks, shrews, and nestlings. I've eaten all of those critters at one time or another and utterly fail to detect their flavors in snake meat. Pumperknickel has way more flavor than unseasoned snake. It's like how Maine lobsters taste only of butter and lemon and how sushi tastes only of wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger slices.

post-45917-0-46898000-1340663635.jpg

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.

 

Your recipe sounds delicious, but I bet all you taste is olive oil and lemon.

 

 

No Sir, I find there is a definite flavor to snake meat regardless of the olive oil, lemon and spices. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

 

 

To the photo you posted: That is a mighty big rattler, no wonder you ended up with so much meat, and a fine skin to boot. Deft handling of that flint too, well done Bullethead.

 

 

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