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A traditional snack in Cambodia is fried insects. Anything goes, but big hairy spiders seem extraordinarily popular. The small village of Skun on the highway 6A, between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, is renowned for its deep-fried tarantulas, along with grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. The place has become so popular that even tour buses stop here now. So what does a tarantula taste like? The hairy legs are just crispy, but the big abdomen is full of gooey, yummy guts. Just squeeze and enjoy.
All over Southeast Asia
The silk worm is mostly known for its capability to produce silk. Well, actually it is the silk caterpillar that produces the silk thread when it spins a cocoon around itself. After completion, the silk caterpillar then transforms into a silk worm at which state the cocoon can be harvested for silk production. The cocoons, with silk worms inside, are then boiled so the silk threads can be unwrapped. The finished products are silk and silk worms which locals consider a delicacy. Of all the different insects that can be eaten in Cambodia, silk worms are definitely among the most yummy ones. Try it fried with a bit of salt.
Donkey penis meat
Northern China, including Beijing
Donkey meat is considered a delicacy by the Chinese. It is sold in dedicated donkey restaurants, which are easily recognisable by the donkey on their signs. The most popular dish is probably the "donkey burger", a bread with chopped donkey stuffing that is sold for a few kuais. Chinese men though tend to go for a bit more delicate part of the donkey, namely the penis. The monster will be sliced into mouth fitting pieces and served on a plate. The slices are sometimes referred to as "donkey coin money" and can be a bit pricy, but luckily you don't have to buy the whole willy.
We have of course tried it and can only... eh, recommend it. Bon appetit!
Wangfujing snack street, Beijing
Small food stalls fill the narrow so-called "snack alley" that springs from the shopping street of Wangfujing. Here you find the usual snacks that Chinese just love, like BBQ sticks, pig stomach and candied fruit, but the main attraction are the exotic sticks. We are talking insects, worms and, even weirder, seahorses and starfish. The big black scorpions go down well, but we did not try the dry-looking starfish!!!
Roasted guinea pig
In the Andean region of South America (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), guinea pigs are not only considered cute, but also tasty. They are called cuy and can be bought roasted and ready for feasting from street vendors and road stalls. Let it be said that there is not an awful lot of meat on a guinea pig, but in return any part is eatable. As they are a delicacy, they are fairly expensive by local standards.
Bali isn’t all about temples and beaches, it could stun your taste buds too. Luwak coffee is a rich, smooth coffee with an earthy, unique undertone and what an undertone it is... the secret? The Asian Palm civet. It spends its nights consuming the finest and ripest coffee berries while local farmers spend their mornings eagerly collecting the beans from their droppings and top grade coffee results. Yes, you'll be drinking from coffee beans defecated by another mammal. But produced in the villages of Bali, Luwak coffee is the most expensive and rare coffee in the world and also quite literally, consuming it may be a one of a kind way to take this compelling island home with you. Almost all farms produce other types of coffee and tea including the distinctive Bali and Ginseng coffee in addition to Ginger and Lemongrass teas. This may be reason enough to visit a coffee plantation, but the little huts with scenic views and the free coffee tastings that almost all farms boast adds to the experience.
Giant water bug
The Lao people eat pretty much anything, so why not giant water bugs? The Latin name for these insects is Belostomatidae and they can reach up to a monster size of 9 cm. The locals love them and you can probably get used to the gooey bits that explode in your mouth when chewing them.
Everywhere in the Baltic countries
If you don't know what to do with an otherwise uneatable part of an animal, serve it to beer. In the Baltic region, the number one beer snack is pig ear. Just skin and cartilage - pickled, sliced and served with strong mustard. And it's actually not too bad.
If you like monkeys, this might not be for you... but one of the main meat sources for indigenous groups throughout Sarawak is monkey. There are many different species (nine, to be more precise) to choose from for a traditional jungle meal, but it really depends on what the hunters catch. They can prepare it in many ways, and each way tastes unique - yes, even delicious. If in a small village, keep in mind that dinner is whatever the hunters catch, and in Borneo there are a lot of options of things to hunt!
Bake 'n' Shark
Maracas Bay, Tobago
Take a shark filet, put some batter around it, deep fry it and put it in fried bread (the bake). Then go to a self-service salad bar with lots of vegetables, sauces and other condiments and you end up with a delicious sandwich that is too big to eat and you spend a few minutes wondering how to get started.
People come to Maracas Bay especially to eat a Bake 'n' Shark, and there are several stands selling them. Richard is the self-acclaimed original and first stand and definitely the most popular one. If you don’t want to eat shark, you could go for the alternative option: Bake 'n' Kingfish or, for vegetarians, Bake 'n' Veggie, but that is kind of missing the point.
Afterwards, you can digest on the large pretty beach of Maracas Bay.