In rural Cambodia, fried tarantulas are a crispy delicacy

Oudong market, located around one hour north of central Phnom Penh, is not your usual throng of food vendors. Alongside grilled chicken and banana pancakes, visitors can also find cooked silkworms, crispy fried crickets, vast piles of red ants complete with bone-white eggs, and mounds of fried tarantulas.

At the 50m-long market, where vendors line the base of a forested hill topped by a stupa, 25-year-old Nai Sin rests calmly behind trays containing browned crickets and a huge pile of about 50 fried tarantulas.

“I’ve been selling the bugs here for about one year,” she says. “The spiders are caught in Kampong Thom province. There are locals there who act as brokers and sell them to us… They are very delicious. No chemicals on these!”

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