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The intelligent snake has all the smarts of a human, as well as the accompanying desire for luxury and refinement in their life beyond fulfilling their basic needs. What they lack is appendages, and much of our teeth.

The end of the tail of the intelligent snake is prehensile enough and can, with practise, hold a single instrument and operate it with some dexterity. A spoon or a prong would work. That would allow an intelligent snake to eat soups, stews, or anything that can be skewered in one piece and transported to their mouth. Anything in need of cutting up, or anything that would just roll around a clumsy spoon (like peas), would be inadvisable to attempt.

Snakes also lack incisors, so they cannot easily bite off a piece of something larger, unless it is soft enough to tear off.

Another option, one that seems more natural: a single larger piece of food like haggis. It would be swallowed whole, approximating the natural habit of the intelligent snake's primal ancestors. The issue is that snakes also lack molars: they do not chew, therefore they would not be able to enjoy the taste inside such a dish. It is also clear how much snakes rely on their sense of smell; thus to make a feast a proper feast to them, the cuisine must be very odorous. Which brings us back to soups, which have the advantage of evaporation.

Basically, my question is if there's any sort of dish besides soup that intelligent snakes can eat with a single piece of cutlery, that they don't have to chew or bite in pieces to appreciate the flavour, and that comes with a smell.

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    $\begingroup$ Question: Who makes the food? The snakes themselves or another creature? $\endgroup$ – NickNunes Sep 29 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @NickNunes I'll say that other creatures do most of the cooking. Think of a setting like Kung Fu Panda or Zootopia. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Sep 29 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ gotcha, I was wondering if it was a Zootopia or an episode of Rick and Morty. $\endgroup$ – NickNunes Sep 29 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure a snake's mouth would be well-designed to consume liquids like this. They can't seal their mouth. they can directly sponge up liquids, though. treehugger.com/…. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Sep 29 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ A spoon to eat soup doesn't seem very practical for a snake. Using a straw would be far easier (also for drinks). $\endgroup$ – Echox Sep 30 at 13:21

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All the refinement goes into savoring the experience before swallowing

Snakes are not humans and they don't have a desire for chewing or otherwise breaking up their food into small parts. Fortunately for them, their tongues extend a lot more and can experience the taste, scent and texture of the food before its put in the mouth.

Long gone are the days that the snakes had to quickly kill, then gobble up raw hairy/scaly prey in a hurry and then hide while they digest it. Now prey can be properly cleaned and cooked to provide a much easier to digest and more nutritious meal, powering the snakes' increased metabolism (especially the brain's energy demands). Most "prey" animals are by now domesticated and bred on farms, conveniently sized and mostly hairless, looking nothing like their ancestors in the wild.

While raw and live prey are still favored by some, they are now reserved for special occasions by snake society at large. Daily meals come in the form of a prepared and cooked prey item (or set of small ones) with variety provided by marinades, sauces and stuffing and different cooking styles. The most common utensil at the dinner table is a sharp tweezer-like thing, used to slice open skin, poke inside and hold open holes in the food to taste the insides.

Most of the mealtime is spent exploring the food with the tongue, interspersed with conversation. A small cup of water is always available to rinse the tongue if a certain flavor is too dominant. The end of the meal is signaled by the highest-ranked snake in the company picking up and swallowing their food with the rest following soon after. The young brood that try to quickly swallow food they dislike are strictly disciplined of course.

Haute Cuisine in the snake world takes all kind of forms. One restaurant might serve specially bred mice of unique flavors, while another specializes in live prey prepared with paralytic poisons to stay on the plate. A daring few even experiment with plant-based ingredients, either to enhance the taste or even as a replacement for the animal itself.

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    $\begingroup$ +1, especially for calling out the excessive anthropomorphism. Apes need to chew even in a state of nature, there's no reason snakes would want to. $\endgroup$ – Emilio M Bumachar Sep 30 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ A beautiful description of a future snake world, but this doesn't actually answer the question at all! The question was about the cutlery required. It is not clear how your tweezer-like thing would be used. $\endgroup$ – Dmitry Kamenetsky Oct 1 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DmitryKamenetsky The question was about both food and cutlery; for the purpose of figuring out how a snake would enjoy a meal. This answer is more or less a frame challenge, but it has helped me the most in the general intelligent snake dinner habits so I accepted it :) $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Oct 1 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ @DmitryKamenetsky I've slightly expanded on how the tweezers are used, but they only get one sentence because the point is that snake food is not meant to be cut/manipulated much. Sticking the tongue into a small hole to taste the inner parts adds more of the refinement and luxury that KeizerHarm wanted, but is not essential in any way. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus Oct 1 at 7:15
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Soft But Not Too Soft

Many foods can be eaten with just one hand and a fork. First use the edge of the fork to break apart the food. Then either scoop or skewer depending on the consistency of the food. For example:

enter image description here

Cheesecake (any cake really).

enter image description here

Potatoes (Baked/roast/boiled)

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Most types of fish.

All these foods have the bonus that you can chew them with no teeth. Just smoosh the food between your tongue and the roof of your mouth to get the flavour.

Anything harder must be cut up before it reaches the table. Two kitchen snakes work together to hold the food in place and cut it. It can be served either loose:

enter image description here

or on skewers

enter image description here

Added Later: Another option is to serve a joint of meat on a heavy wooden board with a big spike.

enter image description here

The spike keeps the meat in place and you only need one hand to carve of a chunk to eat.

As you see there is a huge variety allowed.

Bonus:

On a human table each person has their own cutlery. I think on the snake table each dish on the table has its own implement. All the dishes go on the table, maybe on a lazy Suzan, and you use whatever utensil goes with whatever you're eating at the moment.

Some dishes arrive in one piece and require two people to eat. Different dishes have different symbolic meaning attached to them. Some are holiday throwbacks. The most well known is eaten when one snake proposes marriage to another, or maybe at the wedding party. Tradition dictates they serve an entire animal on the table. Only instead of one snake swallowing the whole thing, they work together to cut it into pieces and share the food.

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    $\begingroup$ Fascinating answer, thank you! An alternative for the wedding carcass might be if each snake starts swallowing the other end of a lengthy animal until they meet in the middle, à la Lady and the Tramp. Then of course cooperative knife action would be required in order to cut through the beast in the middle and free themselves :) $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Sep 29 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Great! Now I'm hungry :( $\endgroup$ – Mixxiphoid Sep 30 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe it's just current events talking, but I was with you until it came to sharing eating implements. Everyone just use your own forks, please. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Sep 30 at 14:30
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Blenders.

Everything gets blended, either together or separately. The snakes can spoon the pastes and drink the liquids fairly easily to get the flavors they want. The only problem is the blender itself. It can be handwaved or made super simple, like the grindstones in early grain mills.

Meat and other solids could still be left intact or cut into smaller pieces. In pieces, they could be dipped into the "sauces" from the blender. Think fondue.

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  • $\begingroup$ Fondue is actually a really good one; never thought of that. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Sep 29 at 16:20
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The first thing is that your snakes want to eat a lot of their food cooked. Cooking is basically partial pre-digestion, which enables the eater to absorb more nutrition for less energy spent digesting and is vitally important to keeping up the calories that let them be smart. In particular, this could prevent the notorious post-eating torpor of reptiles.

The second is that your snakes are still beings that are used to swallowing food whole, so chewing is less important. Give them food in chunks.

The third is that your snakes are probably obligate carnivores. They need their meat. Vegetables might be edible if they were given treatment that made them basically digestible as meat.

So meat is chopped up into bite-sized chunks. Like Chinese cuisine, even if the reason is enable swallowing rather than conserving fuel. The chunks would be bite-sized -- and they have pretty big jaws. They could then use a prong to stab the pieces and bring them up to their mouths to swallow the chunk whole.

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I am not sure if this would be acceptable for OP or what OP really wants, but since snakes still can swallow:

I think sausage and sushi would be nice for a bite or swallow size. If the snake is able to eat vegetables and the like, I think of tofu and pasta/noodles too, and omelette too since snakes like to eat eggs, or if you want a more unique one maybe balut and century egg for example. Regarding smell, many types of spice or sauce can help enhance it. You can also marinate or soak tough meat to be more softer like using lemons and milk products.

Regarding cutlery or utensils, I agree with you they can wrap their tail around the handle to manipulate it, but I think it will be crude and it probably look awkward in motion too for certain angle, especially regarding cutting tool, beside I think they can only apply same pressure rather than focused pressure when wrapping, unless the tail tip is free to use the thumb like pressure (like the image below) but it may also take lots of the tail length to doing so, and I think they would have awkward time to adjust the tool positions to some degree, so I suggest to make hand tube (think of pirate hook hand, scissor, pata, etc) as the handle to let the tail tip slip inside to have better tool manipulation and better pressure manipulation too, I suggest the tube reach to near the blade tip if want a more tip type of pressure, while not sacrificing the snake body length and i think the body can feel more relax, its up to you to still give protruding handle tip or not like common utensil handle, since it can also give stability to it and new motion, or make horizontal handle like katar or hand saw handle at least for slicing motion type, this assuming they don't know modern or futuristic artificial/prosthetic hand technology, otherwise use that instead.

Here are some images to help imagine it better but instead of just hook it can be the fork, spoon or knife in it, while also applied what @renan suggest as multipurpose or Swiss knife kind of tools, at least to keep the food stay still for example a hook or jite type of crossguard to pin on the food while cutting.

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scissor

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pata

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and horizontal handle for specific slicing/cutting motion (just focus on the general handle, not the blade itself or the overall shape, also ignore how wide it actually is, if it's not clear enough that don't take this image literally)

handsaw

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katar

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Mashed Potatoes

They can smell quite nicely, you don't really have to chew them and you don't need two arms.

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You could consider that they eat what real snakes eat, but in more refined ways. I am thinking, for example, of ways to eat a whole mouse in a "refined" way. Serve them in fancy containers? Catch them with a very sharp fork? I think the snakes would prefer to keep a more natural diet, and establish cultural norms around that.

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    $\begingroup$ I personally don't see why snakes would prefer a natural diet. Us humans have not stuck with fruits, berries and raw meat either. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Sep 29 at 17:41
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Caviar is “luxury and refinement”. Maybe caviar on top of a deviled quail egg. It’s pure protein and fat, it’s black and it’s evil sounding. Would make Martha Stewart proud.

https://www.marthastewart.com/910523/deviled-quail-eggs-caviar

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I reckon they should use a spoon-fork-knife combo! It gives them a spoon for soups, a knife for cutting and a fork for lifting food :)

enter image description here

For example you can get them here:

https://www.louis.eu/artikel/origin-outdoors-titan-spork-spoon-fork-knife-combo/60992024

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A vibrating prong

Part of the fun of eating for a cold-hearted snake is to see the struggles and death throes of the prey. If the food is cooked or otherwise prepared, it will presumably be dead. This removes a lot of the enjoyment.

A vibrating prong will give the appearance of life. It will act very much like a cat toy but combined with nutrition.

A restraint cutter

For food served live, it will need to be tied down to prevent escape. The snake can first inject venom or constrict their prey and then, when ready to swallow, cut the bonds.

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  • $\begingroup$ Post is more about what foods, as opposed to fancy ways to serve said food. $\endgroup$ – Salami-tsunami Sep 30 at 14:05
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Did you know that there are humans who, for different reasons, have only one functional hand?

And if you did, did you also know that they can live completely normal lives? If you imagined otherwise, please inform yourself about ableism. Thinking that one-armed people would only be able to eat soup is an example.

Necessity is the mother of invention. And if real humans can be inventive, so can your intelligent snakes.

This is called a pizza fork. It's a piece of cutlery that allows for cutting and forking

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    $\begingroup$ OP points out that snakes are also unable to chew, that's the main reason they're only able to eat soups... $\endgroup$ – NickNunes Sep 29 at 16:37
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    $\begingroup$ And I neglected to mention that snakes also lack incisors, so they cannot bite things off either. Taking a bite out of a pizza is unfeasible. Though the specific instrument you showed could potentially work, if they were dexterous enough. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Sep 29 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ And honestly even if that weren't the case, it isn't ableist to be unaware of what options disabled people have to live their lives. Your anger is completely unjustified. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Sep 29 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ Is that image a joke image? I mean pizza is already the perfect shape to eat one handed without the silly wheely-fork thingy. . . . $\endgroup$ – Daron Sep 29 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ @daron It's real - ebay.com/itm/… $\endgroup$ – Roger Lucas Sep 29 at 23:56

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