Cambodia is like a mecca of weird foods. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where crickets and tarantula make it onto the menu. I’ve had a lot of people ask me “why?” Why try these very weird delicacies? For starters, I have a when in Rome policy. I like to experience the world the way the locals do. Sometimes that means trekking through the fields of Myanmar until there is no cell service. Sometimes it means sitting in silence for 10 days with monks. Other times, it means eating a giant spider.
In addition to experiencing the culture, I love a challenge. Conquering my fears drives half of what I do. I’m terrified of spiders. Now when I see one I can say, “I eat chumps like you for breakfast” or maybe I’ll still scream. We’ll have to see. Regardless of my reaction, here are some extremely humorous photos of me putting weird foods in my mouth.
I was skeptical of trying any kind of bugs because BUGS. I think you have to go into this with a mind over matter attitude. Who decided chicken was okay to eat but crickets aren’t? If you can accept that logic, it’s not so weird. Crickets taste like super crispy french fries with soy sauce on them. I’m gonna be honest here and say that I actually liked them.
I did not have the same appreciation for spider (in case you couldn’t tell from the look on my face). The legs are super crunchy and poked me in the cheek. It freaked me out. For those wondering, they aren’t hairy. I think the hair cooks off when they deep fry them. The body has the texture of beef. I can’t really say what it tasted like because it had soy sauce on it, so it tasted like soy sauce.
Scorpion didn’t really taste like anything, but the shell was super crunchy. Like the kind of crunchy you have to chew for a while before you can swallow. You also have to be careful because the claws are sharp and can actually cut your mouth. The only good thing I can say was that it wasn’t meaty. It felt like the actual scorpion had evaporated when cooked and just it’s shell was left. It was like a weird shaped, super crunchy, less tasty, soft shell crab.
Would you try any of these strange foods? Let me know in the comments…
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Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.