I.. was... SO.. happy!! I had watched Anthony Bourdain's episode on Cambodia.. and saw how the Cambodians go out to the jungle, dig up tarantulas, pinch their poisonous fangs off, then deep fry them and eat them. I knew right then.. I HAD to get my hands on some.. however, they're primarily only eaten in certain villages. I was bummed, because whichever village he had mentioned.. I was definitely not going to have time to go there, so I had sort of forgotten the idea.
However people, miracles DO happen!
At this rest stop, I found an old lady selling eggs and heaps of fried tarantulas. Then I sort of had the "Ooooh man" moment of, now I gotta do this.. what am I getting myself into?! So she told me I could have one for 0.75 (they use USD frequently as well as Cambodian riels) or two for $1. I thought for a second and said "2 please!"
I luckily ended up sitting next to a guy from the Netherlands.. we had chatted a bit on the bus ride here, but had split up at the rest stop.. I knew EXACTLY who I was going to find to eat the second one with me!!! So I found him, Peter Paul (<-yes.. that is for real his name), and told him "We will totally be best friends if you... EAT THIS TARANTULA WITH ME?!" He paused for a second and said yes. My first reaction was sort of like.. dude, really?!
Partners in crime.
So we cheers-ed our 8 legged monsters.. and ate those 8 legs first.. then Peter Paul put the whole tarantula body in his mouth. Sadly, I wasn't as brave as that, so I opted for the abdomen first.. may the gagging commence! Since we were about to get on the bus.. and I could hardly keep that part down, I sadly discarded my tarantula head and hopped back on board.
All in all, the taste wasn't HORRIBLE.. it was definitely crunchy, and the abdomen was quite hollow.. they put some sort of spice on the tarantula I believe and it sort of had an awkward flavor.. but perhaps that was just the tarantula I was tasting?! Super stoked I did it... my dad informed me later that people pay loads of money for baby tarantulas in the states... nom nom nom!