One recipe that is unusual but said to be effective as a cure for arthritis is snake soup.Although frequently seen in small countryside restaurants, particularly in the south of China, snake is not a common dish. It is considered something of an expensive delicacy, to be resorted to only for purposes of restoring good health. Snake meat has a delicate flavor, somewhere between that of chicken and fish. It is highly prized in China. Fresh snake blood and snake bile are drunk with rice spirit; they are said to augment qi and to reinforce the internal organs of digestion. Snake meat is normally eaten in a soup, with the bones included as part of the broth
Although Snake Soup is a traditional dish eaten all over China, the very best version of this delicacy comes from Kweilin Street in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong. This street is famous for snake that is so fresh, the reptiles are still alive when you pick them. Snake lovers flock to Kweilin street mostly between mid-November to April, when the consumption of snake soup is seen as a necessity by many Cantonese.
In Cantonese culture, many firmly believe that snake soup is essential to provide an “inner warmth that stays with you long after the bowl of soup has been eaten”. This inner warmth is credited with keeping off the cool winter air and keeping you healthy and fortified against winter colds and the flu. Snakes are so popular during the winter months, close to 200,000 live snakes are shipped into Hong Kong every year along with many tons of frozen snake meat.
A favourite winter warmer in Hong Kong, snake soup is considered somewhat of a gourmet dish. Most of the city's snake meat is now delivered chilled or frozen from China, but to try the meat and the soup at its best you need to have it fresh, which means braving the handful of live snake restaurants that still exist in Kowloon. Here, you pluck your favourite python or cobra from behind a cage and watch him slither to the chopping block, with more unusual snakes attracting heavier price tags. The soup comes with the snake shredded inside, although, if you're braver, you can try sliced snake in a host of other dishes. As it seems with almost all exotic meats, many say it tastes like chicken.