Food + Wine

World's Scariest Foods

Tarantula

What it is: Whole, palm-sized spiders, stir-fried with spice

Where it's served: Cambodia

Want a bite? When something is described as crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, generally speaking, you really, really want cheese to be involved. But tarantula aficionados, of which there are many, swear that the texture of a deep-fried tarantula is its most mouthwatering characteristic. The legs, like furry potato chips, are pleasingly crisp and tend to absorb whatever seasonings go into the pan with the spider. Bite into the body, and your succulent reward is a mouthful of something not unlike a hot fish eyeball. While the tarantula started its culinary history as survival food (each spider contains a fair amount of protein), tarantulas are now sold as much for shock value as for nutritional value, offered up by the heap on platters to tourists to eat on a dare.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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