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Do Koreans eat snakes?


Korean cuisine is well-known for its spicy and savory flavors. With a rich history dating back thousands of years, Korean food is a reflection of the country’s culture and traditions. However, there is one question that often arises when discussing Korean cuisine – do Koreans eat snakes? In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in detail.

The history of snake consumption in Korea

Snake consumption has a long history in Korea. Historically, snake meat was believed to have medicinal properties and was used to treat various ailments. It was also considered a delicacy and was consumed by the wealthy and nobility. However, with the introduction of Western medicine and changing cultural attitudes, snake consumption has declined in recent years.

Types of snakes consumed in Korea

There are several types of snakes that are consumed in Korea, including the venomous pit viper and the non-venomous water snake. These snakes are either raised in captivity or caught in the wild.

Preparation of snake meat

Snake meat is typically prepared by grilling or boiling it. It is often served with a variety of herbs and spices to enhance its flavor. Some traditional Korean dishes that include snake meat are baeksuk and sanjeok.

The cultural significance of snake consumption in Korea

In Korean culture, snake consumption holds both positive and negative connotations. On one hand, it is seen as a symbol of strength and vitality. On the other hand, it is associated with dark magic and superstition.

The decline of snake consumption in modern Korea

Despite its cultural significance, snake consumption has declined in modern Korea. This can be attributed to changing cultural attitudes towards animal welfare as well as the availability of other food options.

The health benefits of consuming snake meat

Snake meat is believed to have several health benefits. It is high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy alternative to other meats. Additionally, snake meat is believed to have medicinal properties and is used in traditional Korean medicine.

The potential dangers of consuming snake meat

Consuming snake meat can be dangerous if not prepared properly. Certain species of snakes carry venom and consuming their meat can lead to serious health complications. It is important to ensure that snake meat is prepared by a trained professional.

Snake consumption in other cultures

Snake consumption is not unique to Korean culture. It is also consumed in other countries such as China and Vietnam, where it is believed to have medicinal properties.

Controversy surrounding snake consumption

The consumption of snakes has been a controversial topic in recent years. Many people argue that it is cruel to raise and kill snakes for food, while others believe that it is no different than consuming other types of meat.


In conclusion, while snake consumption does hold cultural significance in Korea, it has declined in recent years due to changing attitudes towards animal welfare and the availability of other food options. While snake meat is believed to have several health benefits, it can also be dangerous if not prepared properly. Ultimately, whether or not one chooses to consume snake meat is a personal choice that should be made with caution and consideration.



Which country eats the most snakes?

For more than two millennia, snake soup has been viewed as a delicacy in Chinese society. Shanhaijing, a text from the Pre-Qin period, documents that people in Guangdong province began eating snake soup. The culture of consuming this dish became widespread in China during the Qing Dynasty’s final years.

Does any country eat snakes?

Snake soup is a common dish in China, with python or water snake being the main ingredients. In Australia, indigenous people eat bush meats, including snakes like python. Rattlesnakes are a popular dish in the southwestern United States, although many people may not find snakes very appetizing. Despite this, people still eat them.

Which meat is most eaten in South Korea?

Many of South Korea’s favorite dishes, such as Bulgogi, Samgyeopsal, Galbi, Samgyetang, and Korean Fried Chicken, are predominantly meat-based. Meat is highly prized in Korean culture and is a common ingredient in most Korean cuisine.

What insects do Korean eat?

Beondegi is a popular street food in Korea that is made from boiled or steamed silkworm pupae. Served in paper cups with toothpick skewers, this snack is insect-based and known as “pupa” in Korean.

Which 4 countries have no snakes at all?

Ireland’s lack of native snakes is a unique feature, as it is one of the few places around the world, such as New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland, and Antarctica, where individuals with a fear of snakes can visit without any worry. This may seem like an unbelievable story, but it is true.

Do Japanese eat snakes?

Eating snake is not only popular in Hong Kong, but also in many other Asian countries including China and Taiwan. Even in Japan, soldiers are trained to cook and consume snakes.

In addition to its cultural significance and potential health benefits, snake consumption also has environmental implications. The demand for snake meat has led to over-harvesting of wild snake populations, which can have negative effects on ecosystems. In response, some proponents of sustainable food practices have advocated for the cultivation of snakes in captivity as a more environmentally-friendly alternative.

Despite the controversy surrounding snake consumption, it remains a part of Korea’s culinary heritage. For those who are curious about trying it, there are still some restaurants that serve snake dishes in Korea. However, it is important to exercise caution and do research before consuming snake meat to ensure that it is prepared safely and responsibly.

Overall, the question of whether Koreans eat snakes is a complex one with no easy answer. While snake consumption has declined in recent years, it is still a part of Korean culture and cuisine. Whether or not one chooses to consume snake meat is ultimately a personal choice that should be made with consideration for animal welfare, cultural significance, and potential health risks.

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