This photo taken on March 14, 2018 shows a live tarantula crawling across a man's shirt with a Cambodian flag at Skun town in Kampong Cham province.
While a plate piled high with hairy, palm-sized tarantulas is the stuff of nightmares for some, these garlic fried spiders are a coveted treat in Cambodia, where the only fear is that they may soon vanish due to deforestation and unchecked hunting. / AFP PHOTO / TANG CHHIN Sothy / TO GO WITH AFP STORY: CAMBODIA-LIFESTYLE-TARANTULAS-TOURISM-ENVIRONMENT-FOOD; Feature by SUY SE        (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP via Getty Images)
Tarantula Doughnut Tapas Are The Height Of Elegance In Cambodia
By Nick Johnson
The idea of including insects in haute cuisine might be surprising to some, but insects are actually eaten by around two billion people worldwide. There’s even a restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia, that can cook you an eight-legged entrée so delicious it'll make you think twice about the entire practice of eating insects.
The Bugs Cafe was founded by a French expatriate and a local Cambodian chef, and boasts a wide array of insect dishes like feta and tarantula samosas and the Bug Mac, which is exactly what it sounds like. However, the star of the show is undoubtedly the tarantula tempura doughnut — a fried spider that’s apparently reminiscent of soft-shell crab.
When preparing this arachnid appetizer, the first step is to thoroughly wash the spider before breading the bug and frying it in a pot full of hot oil. The breading covers up the flavor of the tarantula, which results in a unique and enjoyable taste; unfortunately, the Bugs Cafe has been closed since 2020, so you may have to fill your tarantula cravings elsewhere.