The other day I watched a little bit of the TV show “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern“. I don’t usually watch it, but it can be interesting (and quite gross at times) . In the clip I saw, he was in Cambodia, and he showed people who eat tarantulas. And of course he tried it. I don’t think I would try that…
The story of how this happens is unusual also. A husband and wife team go into the forest to catch tarantulas, then they de-fang them using a stick, a knife, and their hands, and they sell them for 12 cents apiece. Imagine if that was your job! It’s dangerous enough to find and catch poisonous spiders, plus the other dangers in a forest. Then they remove the fangs and poison. What could possibly go wrong? And to get only 12 cents per spider… I realize the economy is on a different scale there, but that still seems quite low for the amount of risk involved.
A woman buys the tarantulas, rinses them off, seasons them with a mixture of powdered instant chicken soup, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar, then fries them. While cooking, they make whistling noises and popping sounds (like a small explosion). While frying the hair/fur falls off. Supposedly they are quite tasty, with a sweet and nutty taste. The woman sells them in town for 25 cents each, and makes about $25 a day, which is a really good living there.
Reading about it doesn’t do the story justice. You should watch this short clip to experience it a little closer.
To answer my original question: No, I would not eat one. I’m not scared of spiders, but I’d still rather not eat them, especially when they’re potentially poisonous. There’s plenty of other foods I would rather eat.