Saturday, May 5, 2018


JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT the juicy tarantula burger was the only food using the hairy arachnid comes this delicacy of middle eastern, African and Southeast Asian cuisine. This particular dish is made and gobbled up in restaurants and on the streets of Cambodia.

Tarantula Samosa
Tucked inside a flaky crust are layers of feta, spinach, and black, hairy legs.

When you receive your samosa at the Bugs Cafe in Siem Reap, it looks like any flaky pastry. But one slice through the middle will reveal layers of spinach, feta, and hairy, black legs.

These once belonged to a tarantula, a spider known around the world for its venomous fangs. But in Cambodia, the insect known as a-ping is a delicacy. For those who might be anxious about trying the arachnid, the cafe’s samosa offers a delicious introduction. Though their flavor is mild, the legs have a crunchy, slightly fuzzy texture. Seasoned with garlic and parsley, they offer a crispy counterpoint to the pastry’s soft, rich cheese and bitter spinach.

The infamous Tarantula Samosa. Photograph by Sam O'Brien.

For diners who enjoy the samosa and would like to advance to the rest of the tarantula’s body, the cafe also serves an entire deep-fried spider.

Street vendors also sell deep-fried tarantulas. You'll probably find a few in Siem Reap, but they're far more prevalent in the town of Skuon (nicknamed "Spiderville"), which is about an hour and a half drive north of Phnom Penh.

[SOURCE: Atlas Obscura.]

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