My mom was a plain cook. Not a bad one, just very meat and potatoes. I experiment a lot when I cook at home, so sometimes meals get a little weird. No recipes for me. When I travel, something comes over me and I will try a bite of anything.
My mom also has always been deathly afraid of spiders. She used to pay my cousins to destroy anything that remotely looked like one. Coincidently, my husband also hates these eight legged creatures. That is why he hates when I tell this story.
Before I get into the ” meat” of this story, here is a quick list of some of the food I have tried. Snake, frog, crocodile ( or alligator, I can’t remember), kangaroo, old black egg, pig intestine, chicken feet, blood rice, stinky tofu, ( you will know what this is if you have ever walked through a market selling it!)
Anyway, I was on a tour through Southeast Asia and we were in Cambodia. A family invited our group for an authentic, home cooked meal. I don’t remember what we ate, but I remember that it was delicious. After dinner, a fellow traveller and I noticed a child carrying a big jar to the kitchen. It was full of something black.
We gave each other knowing glances and tried to prepare for what we knew was coming. You can’t prepare for that. I don’t have a fear like my mom, but will spray any live spider with hairspray until I am sure it cannot hurt me.
The plate of huge, black tarantulas was put in front of us. It was do or die. Now or never. I knew that if I over thought it, my mind would win. I grabbed one, ripped a leg off, and started crunching. You know, when you chew so fast hoping you won’t taste it? I did taste it. And, it actually wasn’t that bad. Like a crispy cracker.
Being a photo collector, I posed for a few pictures with one of the remaining seven legs between my teeth and the spider hanging out for viewers to see. The rest of the legs went down fine. Each one helping another traveller gain courage to rip a leg off of their own after dinner snack. I ate up the legs and the encouragement of others. I fed off the reactions of people. I was brave. Fearless….Then came the body.
Two round pieces remained. What if juices squirted out at me as I bit into one??? Could I handle that? My braveness was drifting away. To make sure there were no juices, I jabbed one with a chop stick. No juice. I would live to finish the entire thing.
Thinking back, I still can’t believe I did it. It really is mind over matter. It really didn’t taste that bad. I lost all of the picture proof because of a ruined camera card, but the picture will always be in my mind.
What weird foods have you eaten? Where would you draw the line?