Cambodia tarantula: What it’s like to eat?

To travel the world means that you may get to eat many kinds of unusual food. When it comes to Cambodia, there is a joke like “you can eat every creature which can move, from a hairy spider to a tiny grasshopper”. To some tourists, creepy crawlers like spiders or scorpions may be a nightmare and they even can frighten a weak-hearted traveler to death, not to mention truly eating a Cambodia tarantula. However, the famous delicacy of tarantula fried with garlic is considered as a favorite snack of many Cambodian and it is even getting more and more expensive. Are you curious enough to try out one yet? OK, let’s find out together what it’s like to really take a bite out of a Cambodia tarantula. 

Cambodian tarantula

Eating tarantulas is not a long-dated practice in Cambodia and the dish didn’t appear on menu at the first place as a speciality. This delicacy was actually born out of necessity. In the 1970s, Cambodia was ruled by Pol Pot and the radical communist movement – Khmer Rouge – which pushed people to a terrible famine and they had to eat everything they could find. Then, people realized that some insects like scorpions, silkworms, grasshoppers and tarantula turned out to be tasty so they are remained as a part of Cambodia diet.  

How to cook a Combodia tarantula 

It’s really easy to cook a tarantula and I think Cambodia tarantula recipe is the simplest cooking practice in the world. First, you need to prepare some salt and garlic, dip the spider in the mix and then fry it in sizzling pan full of oil. Then, it’s ready to be served and enjoyed.  

Tarantula is fried in the pan full of oil
Tarantula is fried in the pan full of oil

To get a tasty fried tarantula, you can look for vendors and markets or even join a cooking class. The tarantula cooking class is opened seven days a week and it costs around $22.Within 90 minutes, you will have chance to learn about not only how to cook a creepy creature and turn it into food but you will know more about Cambodia cuisine for sure. Also, I think to go local and go for a Cambodia tarantula hunting will absolutely add more fun to this. 

What it’s like to eat a Cambodia tarantula 

You should eat its body first
You should eat its body first

For some people who fear of insects, they might choose to eat the legs first because they look crunchy and less unappealing than other parts. However, suggestion is that you should try the body first since it is the best and taste more. A bite of fried tarantulas goes like the whole body of the creature has just exploded into your mouth. Seconds later, you may shout in surprise “It tastes like crab…”, That’s right, a Cambodia tarantula tastes similar to crab although its hairy nightmarish appearance may make you lost your appetite. According to the famous actress Angelina Jolie, its flavor is actually really good so why don’t you dare to try! 

Angelia Jolie learned how to cook this dish
Angelia Jolie learned how to cook this dish

Price for a piece of Cambodian tarantula now stays at $1 which was tenfold over the last decade. Deforestation and over-exploitation are both responsible for this dramatic rise in price.  

The disappearance of jungles will sooner or later drive tarantulas out of their existence. The Cambodian are not afraid of spiders. The only fear to them is that their favorite delicacy will disappear some day and their children will never know what it’s like to eat a Cambodia tarantula due to over-harvesting and jungle wipeout.  

Some other travel information of Cambodia you might need:

  1. 10 best restaurants in Phnom Penh
  2. 5 best restaurants in Siem Reap
  3. Nightlife escape in Siem Reap

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