Freaky Food

Yummie, crickets! Food in Cambodia.By day, the expanse of emerald rice fields look like ordinary, peaceful paddies.

But when dusk falls, sheets of plastic unfurl from bamboo frames, electric blue neon tubes flicker on, and hordes of Cambodian crickets are lured to untimely, watery deaths.

The humble chirping cricket became a part of Cambodians diet during the famine years of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.

Well, this is a live one...First unearthed by starving Cambodians in the dark days of the Khmer Rouge "killing fields" rule, Skuon's spiders have transformed from the vital sustenance of desperate refugees into a choice national delicacy.

Black, hairy, and packing vicious, venom-soaked fangs, the burrowing arachnids common to the jungle around Skuon do not appear at first sight to be the caviar of Cambodia.

But for many residents of this market town, the “a-ping” – as the breed of palm-sized tarantula is known in Khmer – are a source of fame and fortune in an otherwise impoverished farming region.