As a reasonably adventurous eater, I’ve had, and will continue to try, a lot of questionable, sometimes gross stuff. Bull testicles, I’m lookin’ at you. (Yes, I’ve eaten them. As a kid, at an Argentine family friend’s barbeque, my mother let me load up a plate full of different kinds of meat, only explaining what was what after the plate was clean. Thanks, mom.) But the ONE thing I won’t eat, won’t even try a tiny smidge of, won’t even touch, are bugs. Insects. Creepy crawlers. Call ’em what you want. This girl right here is NOT eating them.
And in Cambodia, I saw lots of them… as food. During a bathroom break on a bus ride from Siem Reap to Battambang, for example, I saw them being sold as a snack at a make shift rest stop. Not a vending machine or Burger King in sight.
I wasn’t sure what the woman was peddling and thought it might’ve been nuts, but when I leaned down to look closer, they were unmistakably creepy little bugs, looking just as crunchy and disgusting as I’ve imagined in my nightmares.
I looked on in horror, but another hungry, far more adventurous traveler next to me, a young guy from Canada, didn’t think twice about buying a whole bag of them. He tossed a couple into his mouth while I fought back the urge to projectile vomit.
“Mmm, not bad,” he said, chewing his mouthful of bugs like a horse with some hay. “Kind of salty. They’re actually pretty good. Here, try one!”
Obviously, I did no such thing.