Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creepy Crawlies, Phnom Penh

Booya!!! We were on our quest to locate tarantulas, which we heard was only available in Cambodia. They have it everyday in Skuon, and most people say on the bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap you are almost bound to find someone peddling some on the top of their heads (on a tray of course). Sometimes you can find them in the cities - unfortunately we weren't that lucky :(

What we did find from the kind insect peddler was just about everything else imaginable. We first tried this horrible looking, overfried frog.

Yes sir that's a frog alright. No longer bearing much resemblance to it's alive version, looks more them dried up frog skins you see on the roads. Except fried till crispy goodness.

Amazingly, these MFers are bloody fantastic!!!!!!! The taste is akin to deep fried baby squid, as well as deep fried chicken. Imagine you had a whole deep fried chicken from KFC, squeezed into a single bite sized chunk (I'm not talking popcorn chicken here, I'm talking whole chicken), that's what you get - Cambodian overfried frog. Tasty as all hell, this probably beat everything I've eaten so far in Cambodia.

This was our driver's favourite - he declares it goes excellent with beer, and we have no doubts about that!

Other things she was peddling included this nasty black beetle fried in chilli. They kinda remind me of black stink bugs, I gave this a pass.

Lo-and-behold - this was probably the nastiest thing behind giant spiders you can find from a insect peddler, this fried cockroach thingy. I'm not sure if it is a cockroach, but I wasn't about to find out by asking.

Did I mention that our hotels were relatively cockroach free? I wonder why, anyway she was peddling a bucket load of these creepies. Yeesh.

As I was about to throw in the towel ...

Driver: "Try one, sir?"
Me, with a look declaring the driver clinically insane: "Excuse me?"
Driver: "Very nice. I show you ..."

My driver encouraged me to tuck into one so I did - he showed that you should remove the wings and torso shell before biting into the soft abdomen area. He had to do it for me and I hesitated several times before finally touching the damn thing myself. The taste? Rather cockroachy.

I distanced myself completely from this creature (the cockroach, not my bear :)).

To be honest it tastes like those soft bits of crab shell with no meat in it, doesn't really taste like anything besides the BBQ-sauce-like-spice-n-herbs they cooked the thing in. Dare say I balled up for this one.

Maggots were quite strange I thought. They are a bit squishy inside once you get past the slightly firm exterior/skin/?. However everything on the cart has been fried beyond redemption so the most overwhelming taste is from the oil and various spices/condiments used.

Besides this I had my usual fill of crickets - no biggy, had them in Pattaya before.

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