It’s culinary contraception.
An enterprising Florida snake catcher has devised a festive strategy to fight the Everglades’ ever-growing Burmese python scourge — through the use of the reptile’s eggs to make ssssscrumptious Christmas cookies, amongst different dishes.
“Heading out to hunt tomorrow with some recent rocky highway & chocolate almond python egg cookies,” wrote Donna Kalil alongside a recent Instagram pic of the unorthodox baking substances. Since becoming a member of South Florida’s python eradication program in 2017, the Everglades crusader has bagged 470 of those Southeast Asian invaders, and sometimes employs their physique components in varied dishes, the Miami Herald reported.
“It’s an incredible supply of protein,” Kalil defined.
Among the many most prized are the python’s leathery eggs, which the unconventional chef boils, makes into frittatas and, after all, freezes for baking cookies, like a herpetological Peter T. Hooper from the Dr. Seuss books. One among her more moderen holiday-friendly creations was gluten-free rocky highway and sugar hiss-mas cookies within the form of little snakes.
Desire your snake with out sweeteners? To not fear: this serpent-slurping epicure makes use of the python meat — recognized regionally as “hen of the glades” — to whip up all the pieces from pasta sauce to jerky. Kalil likes munching on the latter for a much-needed pick-me-up throughout her usually 10-hour snake hunts.
“It’s actually good whenever you prepare dinner it proper,” she mentioned, including that it “takes observe” to keep away from overcooking it.
Sadly, the Burmese python’s standing as an apex predator within the mercury-rich Everglades means it accumulates huge quantities of the metallic in its physique. And the larger the snake, the extra mercury it seemingly accommodates — which is problematic for a predator that may develop as much as 23 feet long.
To safeguard towards attainable contamination, Kalil refrains from consuming python each day and solely eats snakes measuring round 6 ft or much less. She even has a testing package to gauge mercury ranges within the meat.
Kalil might not be the one one chowing on constrictor sooner or later. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee is currently measuring mercury amounts in Burmese python populations to find out whether or not they’re protected for public consumption.
“If we will decide that they’re fit for human consumption, that might be very useful to regulate their inhabitants,” mentioned program director Mike Kirkland of the culinary contraception proposal.
Presently, Florida residents are solely inspired to kill the scaly invaders, which have overwrithed South Florida because the first specimen was launched into the Everglades within the Nineteen Eighties.
“This [eating them] could be a beautiful strategy to get extra individuals concerned with serving to us take away pythons from the atmosphere,” mentioned Kalil.