Snake meat is a delicacy in some parts of Nigeria, especially in the south-western region. It is believed to have medicinal and nutritional benefits, such as curing skin diseases and boosting immunity. However, not everyone is a fan of this exotic food. Some people are afraid of snakes, while others (especially some tribes in Eastern Nigeria), consider them sacred or taboo.
One of the places where snake meat is popular is Badagry, a coastal town in Lagos state. There, you can find a fish market that contains a section that is dedicated to smoke-dried snakes. The market attracts customers from nearby states and even neighboring countries like Benin and Togo. The snakes come already skinned, with the heads removed.
The snake sellers say they source their snakes from the nearby forests, hunters, and snake farmers who bring them from neighboring countries.
They claim that the snakes are fresh and healthy, and that they prepare them hygienically. They also say that snake meat is cheaper and more nutritious than other types of meat.
To prepare snake meat, the sellers first kill the snake by cutting off its head. Then, they skin it and remove the entrails and roast it over fire or boil it with spices.
Snake meat can be eaten alone or with other dishes, such as rice, beans, or plantains. Some people also make soup or stew with snake meat. The taste of snake meat varies depending on the type of snake and how it is cooked. Some say it tastes like chicken, while others say it tastes like fish or goat.
Snake meat is not only a delicacy, but also a source of income for many people in Badagry. The snake sellers say they make good profits from their business, and that they have loyal customers who come regularly. They also say that they face some challenges, such as the scarcity of snakes during the rainy season, the competition from other sellers, meat being sied by contraband patrol scouts, and the negative perception of some people who think that eating snake meat is evil or sinful.
However, they are optimistic that their business will continue to grow and that more people will appreciate the benefits of snake meat. They say that snake meat is a gift from nature and that it should not be wasted or feared. They invite anyone who is curious or adventurous to try snake meat and see for themselves..