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.
You can apparently buy them live or cooked… Straight from the frying pan!
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.
Spiders aren’t the only bug on the menu- oh no!
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.
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?
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).
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.
And lastly, what we saw out of that back window in the bumpy bus…..
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!