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Image: graeme newcomb

Deep fried scorpion at Highway 4 in Hanoi

Now before we get started, let’s get one thing clear. Disgusting as defined by you and me might not be disgusting as defined by the next gourmand. What one abhors the next adores. So get those “yucks” and “eeews” out of your system. You’d eat this stuff if you had to, or if society didn’t wrinkle its collective nose at it. It all tastes like chicken anyway, doesn’t it? Well let’s find out. Mmm. Mmm. Om nom nom nom nom nom nom.


Image: Jom D

1. Fried Spiders

Fried Spiders in Cambodia – spider on a plate anyone?

A delicacy in parts of Cambodia – where the spiders have been harvested from holes in the ground since desperation dictated under Khmer Rouge rule – deep-fried tarantula has had favourable reviews from western writers, who’ve described it as crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. Apparently, the legs are “pleasantly crunchy”, while the head and body “have a delicate white meat” in store that, inevitably, tastes like chicken – or “rather like a cross between chicken and cod.”

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Image: A. www.viajar24h.com

Crawling reviews – crunchy fried spiders in Cambodia…

So far so good, especially with the palm-sized dainties cooked in an appetising mixture of MSG, sugar, salt and garlic until their insides are a bit less runny. But wait. It’s the spider’s rear end you may be inclined to pick over. Containing a dark, brown paste bursting with everything from organs to eggs and excrement, even some of the peddlers turn their nose up at this little element of the treat. OK, technically not an insect, but we’ll let that slide.

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