If any one has visited Phnom Penh and visited the riverside, you are going to the a bunch of deep fried creepy crawlies ready for consumption. One of the notable bugs that you will see are deep fried spiders. One of the things you have to try when you are in Cambodia is to try some of these types of street food. In all honesty, once is enough. Granted the legs are crunchy and just taste like oil, it’s the body that really put me off. Just make sure you have something to drink (preferably an Anchor smooth beer) to wash down the taste.
I’ve always been intrigued on how they were caught and when we were doing the story for the Crickets in Kompong Thom trip, I talked to our fixer and made a detour to Skuon.
When we arrived, our fixer brought us to this ladies house. She told me that they haven’t hunted in a while since it wasn’t the season but offered (for a few dollars) to get her son to catch one for us.
We agreed and what follows is our quest to catch a spider.
After five minutes of walking in the forest, we came across a hole. Her son then took a shovel and dug about 6 inches into the hole.
Her son’s friend came along and showed us how to get the spider out. They took two small branches and slowly strummed the web. They also made a chirping sound while doing this.
About a minute of probing and chirping, the spider came out. When the spider showed enough of itself, the lady’s son grabbed the spider. It was really impressive to watch.
We then headed back to the village.
I thought we were done but she said that the spider needed to be de-fanged as the fangs aren’t edible. Right before I was about to ask her about de-fanging the spider, she started to do it.
With her bare hands.
It was really quick and I was lucky to get this image. Just after I asked if she had ever been bitten. She laughed and said lots of times. She just gets dizzy for a bit and moves on.
She put down the semi defanged spider to let me take a photo. It really doesn’t look pretty. She asked if I wanted to eat it. I declined. She then grabbed it and tossed it into a fire. I asked her why she didn’t want to eat the spider and she simply said that she hates the taste of them. I kinda agree with her.