How's This For Thanksgiving Day Food

Fried TarantulasAhem! How’s this stuff for Thanksgiving Day food? Seriously, baby duck embryos, crickets and tarantulas? Wouldn’t that liven up the conversation before the Cowboys play? I’ll make y’all a deal. Ready?

If one or more people will pledge to donate a total of $500 to a Cambodian charity I will eat some tarantula. I will have someone photograph it, and take a video of it (I have a video camera with me) for evidence that I am a man of my word. Please do note that I may not eat the whole thing–or I may–depends on if it’s tasty or not. Makes me ill thinking about it, to be honest, but I’m willing to give it a try if y’all are.

So, time is of the essence. I will only be in Cambodia for three more days, as I have a very important reporting gig to get to in Bangkok by Sunday night. If you are game, make the pledge. It must total at least $500 and I will leave it to y’all to pick the charity, but it must be Cambodian. Do we have a deal? (And y’all don’t have to stop at $500. If you can raise more, all the better.)

Oh, and there are a few new photos of the countryside and urban life in Phnom Penh here as well as other pics of assorted creepy-crawlies.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • But you gotta reveal some Cambodian culinary secrets. Are the duck embryos deboned? Do they even have bones? Are the hairs from the tarantulas plucked before cooking? What happens to the poisonous parts?

    Is there a hospital near your hotel?

  • the embryos are deboned. I think they are kinda mushy and kinda crunchy. I dunno and DON’T want to find out.

    As for the hairs on the tarantulas, they are fried off, when cooked. Tarantulas aren’t poisonous, well, not THAT poisonous and I will be damn sure I know where a hospital is.

    Here are some ground rules for me:

    1.) I need to see the fucker cooked before my very eyes. No roadside tarantulas for me, that may be loaded with nasty bacteria. I’ll go to the market and have one cooked up just for me. And I’ll film it all.

    2.) As I said, I may not eat it all. I may puke after the first bite. But then again, I may not. I may enjoy it. Lord knows I’ve eaten strange shit before. But this will probably be tops. But on the film and photos you will see that I have swallowed what I’ve eaten. If I do spit it out, then no one is on the hook for any money. But if I manage to stomach a reasonable portion, then y’all gotta pony up.

    What’s life and travel without a daring? Eh?

    “Is not our first thought to go on the road? The road is our source, our vault of treasures, our wealth. Only on the road does the ‘traveller’ feel like himself, at home.”
    Ryszard Kapuscinski

  • Donating to a Cambodian charity is a wonderful idea, but i think eating the spider for the sake of eating the spider is where it’s at. I’ve never had the opportunity (sadly), but a couple of buddies tried them and said that they were pretty good.

  • sounds like the Filipino ‘Balout’….not for the faint of heart… (the smell got me before even getting near ehough to taste) Tarantulas? South American anthropologists have said they taste a little like crab…
    Crickets?…nah, not for me. I don’t like that sort of crunchy (same goes for Shrimp, fried Chinese-style. Chitin isn’t my sorta crunch).

    I wish my financial state wasn’t so poor that I can’t contribute…riding the razor’s edge of bankruptcy isn’t a stress I want to deal with long-term…

    “God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” — Robin Williams

  • funny, I just had softshell crab sushi the other day and the shell came apart the right way (or shall we say the ‘wrong’ way), and it looked gross enough in a certain way that I thought about Sean’s little food dare.

    (it was the end piece, so I could really see the “structure”…)

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