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Eating Spiders in Cambodia

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Your eyes doth not deceive you. That is a platter full of gigantic fried tarantulas! Driving from Siem Reap to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, we passed through the town of Skuon, famous for its delectable fried spiders.

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You can apparently buy them live or cooked… Straight from the frying pan!

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The kids put on quite a show with their pet spiders. I don’t think I’d want one of those things crawling on me.

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Spiders aren’t the only bug on the menu- oh no!

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You can find crickets (in various sizes!) and all sorts of other scrumptious insects! This seems to be a Southeast Asian thing, edible bugs. I overheard someone say something to the effect of bug-eating becoming a necessity during times of abject poverty and hunger. Now, it is part of the culture and almost seems nostalgic. Tourists can’t get enough of it, either.

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Mmmmm, is that a bird on the barbie? I was told it was quail. I’ve never eaten one with its head and legs still attached. Can you imagine ordering quail in some fancy French restaurant and getting this guy served on a platter?

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I’m an extremely adventurous eater, mind you, but I just couldn’t bring myself to try the bugs that looked like cockroaches. Where I come from, that is like eating a rat- or worse! I was raised learning how to splat them with my shoes as soon as I could walk. “They carry diseases,” my mom always told me. Spiders, though? No problem! Wouldn’t want them crawling on or near me, but if they’re fried, bring ’em on!

Our guide, Charles, recommended that we nosh on the legs and leave the torso behind. They were nice and crispy; greasy and salty! It was kind of like eating a really weird french fry or potato chip (“crisp” for my European comrades).

I hate to use an out of focus shot, but I felt the need to give proof!

I hate to use an out of focus shot, but I felt the need to give proof!

Jo was sitting in the back with me and getting a kick out of the spider feast. Oh, and a side note/piece of advice: if you are traveling overland through Cambodia on a bus, AVOID THE BACK SEAT!!!! I think I had minor whiplash from all of the jolts. The roads are especially treacherous on the way to Siem Reap from the Thai border.

Jo holding up the mountain of luggage

Jo holding up the mountain of luggage

And lastly, what we saw out of that back window in the bumpy bus…..

Views of Cambodia

Views of Cambodia

Lots of palm trees and rice fields

Lots of palm trees and rice fields

 

I tried to keep it light today, but my next post will focus on the sobering, devastating genocide Cambodians suffered under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday!

♥Lindsay

 

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13 Responses to Eating Spiders in Cambodia

  1. Turmeric and Twine January 11, 2013 at 8:57 AM #

    Sounds like fun! China is also pretty awesome for adventurous eating. You can get ram’s testicles and dried sea horse on a stick!

    • The Traveluster January 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM #

      Hey! I went to China for about 5 days in 1999 (not very long!), but I definitely want to go back and spend some significant time there. I think the most adventurous thing I ate while there was Peking duck! ha! I’ll have to get back there and try some ram’s testicles. I don’t know about a sea horse though. I know certain species are endangered? I wonder if they farm them. That would be a different story. I also refuse, on principal, to ever eat shark fin soup. Such a terrible practice! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. BUBBA January 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM #

    i can’t wait to try some fried spiders… where can i find them in Louisiana??

    • The Traveluster January 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM #

      No, just fried alligator in LA. That’s pretty exotic, right?

  3. Smith Cam April 7, 2013 at 10:58 PM #

    Cambodians perfected the art of blending spice paste using many ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and turmeric. They add other native ingredients like galangal, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves to these spices to make a rather distinctive and complex spice blend known as “kroeung”.

    http://www.tourismcambodia.org/contents/about_cambodia/index.php?view=food

  4. Meredith May 23, 2013 at 3:51 PM #

    You are so brave! I could not eat them or touch them. AHHH!! Well, maybe after a couple drinks, I would touch them. Very cool post!

    • The Traveluster May 24, 2013 at 3:01 PM #

      @Meredith thank you! It was quite an experience, for sure.. I definitely didn’t eat the meaty body-part of the spider, only the crispy legs. I kept telling myself it was french fries (really crunchy french fries)!

  5. alliblair March 24, 2014 at 3:00 PM #

    I couldn’t bring myself to consume ANY insects or spiders during my time in SE Asia. I just couldn’t! I wanted to cry just thinking about it. Not such an adventurous eater, after all . . .

    • Lindsay March 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM #

      Aw- you just can’t look at them when you move in for the kill! Shut your eyes and chomp! I really did like the small crickets in Thailand. They became addicting (sort of)… 🙂

      • alliblair March 24, 2014 at 8:25 PM #

        Say whaaaat? Addicting? Crickets?? Now I’m intrigued . . .

        • Lindsay March 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM #

          Crunchy crickets. They taste like salty chips, kind of…

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