Delicious Cambodia – tarantulas and scorpions!?!? and other foods…

! WARNING – sensitive people do not look at some of the graphic images below ! go directly to nice list at the end. Attention âmes sensibles ignorez les 5 premières photos et zappez à la liste de la fin ! All through our trip, in all the countries we have visited, we have seen street vendors selling fried locusts and crickets and praying mantis and even dried frogs, but we had never been brave (insane?!) enough to try them. On a back street near the night market in Siam Reap is hidden a small place called Bugs Cafe (https://www.facebook.com/bugscafesr). It is run by French people aiming to demonstrate what an excellent food source invertebrates are: clean, healthy, protein-rich and far more sustainable than livestock. They serve a special kind of food we had been wanting to try during our time in Cambodia – the infamous tarantulas! DSCN5786sm DSCN5800sm To start with, we needed to settle our nerves. JJ took a shot of scorpion vodka (deliciously spicy with chilli and lime) and Lydie took a pineapple margarita that came with a bonus deep fried tarantula. Our meal consisted of a tasting platter for 14 USD – this contained the following: Flying ant brioche with pesto Flying ant spring rolls Tarantula donut Barbequed skewer of tarantula, scorpion, water bug Salad with silk worms and crickets DSCN5799sm DSCN5809sm DSCN5812sm The taste was really rather surprising. Here’s our review: Flying ant brioche and spring rolls – nice but we could not taste the ants Tarantula donut – chewy and meaty, pretty nice Scorpion – very crunchy, imagine chewing through the shell of a prawn by accident Water beetle – meaty and nice Tarantula (on skewer) – again meaty and nice. Could see, but not feel in the mouth, the hairy legs! Silk worms – strange feel in the mouth – the bodies were largely empty, but tasted good Crickets – a bit chewy but fine Unlike our fears, we did not feel anything exploding in our mouths! There was nothing gooey or horrible. The bugs tasted meaty, a bit like a combination between crab and chicken. All in all, this was an interesting experience for us and we would recommend anyone else giving it a go if you get the chance. Following are other new foods we have tried on our trip: 1) Mango and sticky rice with coconut milk – we are day dreaming about it! Mangue, riz gluant et lait de coco – on en rêve éveillés DSCN6456sm 2) Purple tapioca – cooked on the grill, really tasty and looks cool ! Tapioca violet – cuit à la braise, un régal pour la bouche et les yeux ! DSCN0421sm Lydie purple yam 3) Snake blood vodka (with still beating snake heart inside) – no comment Vodka au sang de serpent (avec coeur palpitant dedans) – se passe de commentaire DSCN3495sm 4) Snake sausages (in betel leaf) – meaty Saucisse de serpent (enroulées dans une feuille de betel) – pour les amateurs de feuilles de vigne 😉 DSCN3516sm 5) Tamarind – flesh and taste close to prune but with a hint of sour – yummy! Tamarin – consistance et gout qui rapelle le pruneau mais en plus acidulé – miam ! DSCN4239sm 6) Black chestnuts (water caltrop AKA black horns!) – very hard shell and taste just like chestnut Chataigne noir/ cornes du diable – coquille très dure, même goût que la chataigne DSCN4267sm DSCN4326sm 7) Knuckle bones in noodle soup – not very lady-like Soupe aux articulations (entières) – pas très élégant à manger DSCN4281sm 8) Rice porridge – surprisingly tasty (coriandre, pepper, ginger and dried onions in general) Soupe de riz -parfumé (coriandre, poivre, gingembre et oignons séchés en général) DSCN4313sm 9) Star fruit – hand-picked ! nicely sour and juicy Carambole – cueuillit à la main! agréablement acidulé et juteux DSCN1245sm And the ones we didn’t try! Et ceux que nous n’avons pas essayé 1) Crispy dried frogs Grenouilles séchées DSCN1202sm 2) Pigs head surprise Farandole de têtes de porcs DSCN6280sm

Les insects sont nos amis, il faut les aimer aussi!

Tout au long de notre voyage, dans chaque pays traversé, nous avons vu des étals proposer larves, criquets, et autres grenouilles séchées, mais nous n’avons jamais été assez courageux (fous) pour goûter. Dans une petite allée derière le marché de nuit à Siem Reap se trouve le Bugs Café (https://www.facebook.com/bugscafesr). Il est tenu par des Français qui veulent démontrer que les insectes sont une excellente source de nouriture : propres, sains, riche en protéines et plus “vert” que l’élevage de troupeaux. Ils servent notament une specialité Cambodgienne : “l’infameuse” tarantule !

Pour commencer, nous avions besoin d’un remontant! JJ chosit un shot de vodka au scorpion (délicieusement assaisoné au piment et citron) et Lydie prit une Margarita à l’ananas qui est servie avec une tarentule frite en bonus! Notre repas fut l’assiette dégustation qui contient les mets suivants : Brioche aux fourmies volantes et pesto Nems aux fourmies Beignet de tarentule Brochette tarentule, scorpion, nèpe (Ca Cuong) Salade Wok aux vers à soie et criquets

Les goûts furent assez surprenant. Voici notre critique : Brioche et nems aux fourmies, bons mais on ne sent pas de “goût fourmie” Beignet de tarentule, moelleux et charnue, plutot sympa Tarentule en brochette, tout aussi moelleux et charnue. On pouvait voir les poils aux pattes mais on ne les sent pas dans la bouche 😉 Scorpion, très croquant, comme manger une crevette avec sa carapace Nèpe (sorte de grosse blate), encore une fois charnue et un peu croustillant Vers à soie, consistance un peu chewinggum avec un pti goût salé agréable Criquets, croquants de plus l’assaisonement des différent plats était vraiment fin et très parfumé. Contrairement aux idées reçues, il n’y a pas eu d’explosion de liquide quand on croque ! Rien de gluant ou dégoutant. La chair de ces insectes pourrai etre decrite comme à mi-chemin entre la crevette et le poulet. Dans l’ensemble une expérience très intéressante et nous recomandons d’essayer si vous en avaez l’oportunité ! Suit une liste d’autres nouveaux aliments que nous avons essayer sur la route…

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About Badger and Frog

On a world tour on a tandem
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4 Responses to Delicious Cambodia – tarantulas and scorpions!?!? and other foods…

  1. Lisa Kyriacou Faulks says:

    Rather you than me 😳 Justin seems to be looking more and more like tom hanks in castaway #separated at birth

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  2. Rob says:

    As a food nerd, this was..interesting. Apparently there’s some kind of movement about using insects as a protein source. No reason why they can’t be cooked in a delicious way. Why did you skip the frogs, they seemed yummy, and much more familiar. Maybe because of that, or you were just full!?
    And Justin, you look like a bum. Hugs

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    • Hey Rob. Insects were surprisingly good – and yes, a good clean, and water-friendly method of getting protein. They were all good, except for the crunch scorpion. Frogs we only saw in dried crispy version. Lydie of course, has them in her blood. Next time…
      Rob – embrace the beard – it’s the future. I’m now using beard oil, and have had a trim to make it less “bummy.” Check out my FB for up to date pics.

      Like

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