Deep-fried tarantulas aren’t actually as repulsive as they sound. After they’re fried up the spiders take on a texture similar to that of a soft-shell crab. In order to turn the creepy crawly bugs into a fried snack, the fangs are first plucked out of their mouths. They’re usually seasoned with salt, sugar and garlic before getting deep fried. The delicacy is particularly popular in Skuon, Cambodia — where the spiders are commonly found during the rainy season. When this happens, the spiders come out of their holes, making them easier to catch. The bugs used to be eaten out of necessity, during the reign of Khmer Rouge, radical communist part in the 1970s. During that time, poverty was widespread and they turned to the eight-legged bugs for nourishment. Fortunately, they actually tasted good, given that they were prepared correctly. Since then, they’ve remained a part of the Cambodian diet, and tourists definitely get a kick out of it. They are not available for purchase via vendors on the street. If you have acrophobia, the thought of putting a big bug in your mouth probably turns your stomach. But for the vendors, the bigger the bug the better — particularly large ones sell for up to $1 each.
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