RIDICULOUS FOOD - FRIED SPIDERS (CAMBODIA)
I am happy to bring you the return of our Ridiculous Food feature here on Feast & Fandom. It has been a few years since we have written about what we would consider strange and obscure food from around the world. With this being our first Ridiculous Food post back I wanted to focus on a dish that I personally would never find myself ever eating.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a pure hate/hate relationship with spiders. These are insects that I just cannot stand. Yes I personally find them creepy as hell. I am the type that if I saw one in my bedroom I would have to find it and kill it before I go to sleep although I tend to leave them alone if they are near an entrance to my home or basement window since they control what other insects come into my home.
Cambodia is certainly not my home and spiders are seen as a snack food in the region. Spiders used for the dish are a species of tarantula that grow to the size of the palm of your hand. They are either bred in holes in the ground or foraged in forestland. They are seasoned and fried in oil until the legs are mostly firm. It is said that their meat, the little that there is, is somewhat bland and the flavor is reminiscent of chicken or cod. The texture is a combination of crunchy from the exoskeleton and soft from the inside.
Fried spiders have become a popular phenomenon to tourists over the years and remains a cost efficient snack to the locals. You know how I feel about tasting these eight legged critters. I would have to imagine myself eating fried soft shell crab if I were to be so bold. Maybe I can do it but I truly doubt it. What about you? Do you think you could try a deep fried spider? If so, let me know how it was. Maybe you can convince me. Enjoy!