The best time to eat snakes, some locals in Hong Kong say, is when they have fattened up for winter. That’s why Pizza Hut Hong Kong waited until November to launch its latest headline-grabbing LTO: Snake Soup Pizza, developed in a collaboration with a storied, 128-year-old Hong Kong restaurant.
The pie is topped with traditional snake soup ingredients: shredded snake meat, black mushrooms and Chinese dried ham, according to CNN. The pizza uses an abalone sauce instead of a traditional marinara.
Many in Southeast Asia believe that snake meat has medicinal qualities that can boost blood circulation, according to a statement issued by Pizza Hut Hong Kong.
“Paired with cheese and diced chicken, the snake meat becomes richer in taste,” Pizza Hut Hong Kong said. “Combined with pizza, it marks a breakthrough from the conventional concept of what maintaining good health means while challenging one’s taste buds.”
The pizza chain partnered with restaurant Ser Wong Fun to come up with the Snake Soup Pizza. Ser Wong Fun has roots dating back to 1895 and specializes in snake dishes. Karen Chan, general manager of Pizza Hut Hong Kong and Macao, said Ser Wong Fun’s culinary expertise was relied upon when designing the Snake Soup Pizza. The pies use meat from a variety of different snakes: Chinese rat snakes, banded kraits and white banded snakes.
“The extraordinary snake pizzas offer a perfect balance to all flavors, both tantalizing and savory for this season,” Chan said.
The 9” pizzas are available through Nov. 22.
This isn’t the first time Pizza Hut’s overseas presence in Asia has pushed the culinary envelope. According to the South China Morning Post, some other memorable pizzas with unusual toppings included a coriander, intestine and oyster vermicelli pizza offered at Pizza Hut Taiwan; a durian and stinky tofu pizza offered in mainland China; and a rice pizza in Japan.
It’s safe to say that some of these innovative recipes put into perspective famous American debates like, “Does pineapple belong on pizza?”