Long ago, only the poor had to find insect around their homes and eat them with rice to get a nutritious meal. Nowadays, insect dishes are becoming popular, especially for foreigners, as a special gift that can not be missed when visiting this country.
The insects most eaten by Cambodians are crickets, crabs or grasshoppers, cockroaches, spiders… they are cleaned, then fried crisps or fried with sugar and salt. Today, eating insects become more popular, not only the sidewalk pavement, but even on the table of restaurants, hotels also. Insects are rated as nutritious foods with high fiber, protein and higher nutrient content than meat. According to the UN report, there are over 2 billion people eating insects in the world. It is said that the trend of eating insects in the world originated from the simple habits of Cambodians.
From the food of the poor now insects have helped many Cambodians change their lives by catching insects. In Cambodia, there is a market that sells insects and exports to Vietnam, Thailand, and China. The Cambodian insect market, Kampong Cham, is located about 70 km from the capital Phnom Penh. It is also a popular stop on the route from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. This place sells a variety of insects including grasshoppers, spiders, crickets, woodworms, … marinated deliciously.
At a glance, the Cambodian insect market is quite similar to the Vietnamese market, with an area of 500 – 600m2. The booths are simply designed to be covered and separated by steel pipe piles. The area selling insects such as centipede, cockroach, crickets, spiders, … sell right in front of the market and the two sides of the market are fruit counters. The market has about a dozen stalls selling insects, but the fragrance of crispy fries like covering the market.
It is easy to identify that the insects are marinated and processed completely sold in the tray, the women sitting behind the back are very friendly, enthusiastic and can speak some sentences in Vietnamese. The insects in the market are not too expensive, only tens of thousands of visitors can taste special processed insects.
The challenge that few visitors dare to try is the fried spider. Spider with black, large body like a big longan, with 8 long legs. Spiders are cleaned, fried with garlic, pepper and other spices are fried until crispy outside. The most popular is stir-fried spider, often present in many dining tables. If you do not like these two ways of processing visitors can buy spider to soak in wine, the price of a spider is about 0,2 USD, soaking for about 2-3 months. This wine can cure back pain, aches, …