Every culture on the planet has their own unique culinary tastes. What some people consider to be a delicacy will actually be disgusting to others. Perhaps the most striking example of this is when it comes to insects, bugs, and other creepy crawlies - some of which are eaten alive. There are places in the world where the local population will happily munch on edible spiders and have their own unique spider recipes that involve cooking tarantulas in all kinds of unique ways.
Obviously, the appeal of eating spiders depends largely on where a person grows up and how they view the creatures. Many in the Western world have deep fear of spiders that would likely put them off to eating these arachnids, but that is not always the case. Whether it is indigenous tribes in South America or Asian countries that turned to these yummy spiders out of necessity during times when other food was scarce, they have no problem making an arachnid meal. Here's all the ways you can eat spiders - if you dare.
Tarantulas have become a delicacy in Cambodia, where much of the population was forced to eat the spiders during times of mass starvation under oppressive leadership regimes. Street vendors in the city of Skuon prepare and sell the tarantulas to tourists and locals, having bred them in special holes in the ground where they can then easily kill them.
After death, the spiders are coated in a mixture of herbs and spices, and then fried in a wok for just a short amount of time so the legs become stiff and crispy. Unfortunately, the process does not do anything to stop the abdomen being full of juices and innards that spill out when bitten.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it only involves a few ingredients: garlic cloves, salt, sugar, and cooking oil. And of course, spiders. To prepare the meal, you remove the abdomen and singe the hairs from the rest of the exoskeleton. Chefs can then coat the creature in a salt and sugar mixture before cooking it in a frying pan that contains the cooking oil and crushed garlic.
One of the most popular ways people in Western countries have decided to enjoy spiders in a meal is to have them as a dessert. A particularly common preparation method is to coat the tarantulas in melted dark or milk chocolate. After it has been covered, the spider can then be left to cool naturally or put in the refrigerator. They can then be enjoyed as a sugary treat much like other forms of chocolate coated insects.
David George Gordon is a chef who specializes in cooking and preparing a variety of insects, bugs, and spiders. One of these involves deep-frying tarantulas in tempura batter. The process involves removing the hairs from the spider using a blowtorch before dipping them in the batter. Only the abdomen is used as the legs have little flavor, and the tarantula is fried in boiling oil.