Bälen Boa

One afternoon, a couple of boys brought me over to the community tienda to see a “really small snake” they found. As I approached, I realized that the “small snake” they were jesting about was really a 9 ft. boa constrictor. It was found and killed in their finca for fear of it killing someone. I did not want it to die for nothing, and so I asked if they intended on cooking it. Alas, they were not. They intended to botar the beautiful creature into the monte. I proposed we cook it together, even though none of us had ever cooked boa. Preston and I relied on our memories from episodes of Naked & Afraid and Survivor, and just winged it. The meat was almost as good as the confounded and surprised reactions of the villagers. See, among Ngabe people it is almost taboo to eat boa. It is not perceived as an excellent source of protein, but a danger. Overall it was a unique endeavor that I nor the community will ever forget. The “recipe” is below.

Recipe: Bälen Boa
This recipe is for larger snakes not of a venomous nature. For when your gente kill a majestic creature and ask if you can eat it; i suppose we should not let it go to waste.

To clean the snake:
Chop off the head and anus of the snake, and hang neck down to let bleed.
Once bled, slice the snake’s belly open lengthwise, through the scales and membrane. Be careful not to perforate the stomach or guts. These you will remove much the same as a fish’s.
Once gutted, use your knife to skin the snake, seperating a thin membrane from the meat of the snake. This is not to be confused with descaling, which you would find very difficult. The skin of the snake when dried properly can make an awesome material.

For easier cooking, seperate the snake into smaller pieces which can be roasted/smoked over a fire or boiled. Overcooked is better than undercooked!

For easier cooking still, cut filets from your segments by holding a section tall and carving down. These are excellent pan sauteed.
The leftovers make a hardy base for a soup, as more meat remains within the spines and ribcage.


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