tarantula deep fried

Does this look like a mouth full of yum?

Food, like so many things in life, is a matter of taste and acculturation. Despite this, at least to the palettes of the western world, some of the things people put in their mouths can be considered no less than disgusting. Consider some of the following mouth-unwatering specialties, including DEEP FRIED TARANTULAS…

• Deep Fried Tarantulas

In Cambodia, for 50 cents or less, protein is available in the form of ping (Cambodian for tarantula). The custom of eating these lovelies started during a time of widespread food shortage back in the 1970s, and ingesting one is said to render great beauty.

• Balut (Soft-Boiled Fetal Duck)

For about 35 cents, if you live in the Philippines, you can enjoy a fertilized duck egg with an almost fully developed embryo inside. Boiled and eaten directly from the shell, this dish is considered to be high in protein and an aphrodisiac.

• Tuna Fish Eyes

The fatty, jelly-like tissue around the eyeballs of a tuna fish is considered to be a great delicacy in Japan that costs about US $1. It can be eaten a number of ways: raw, steamed or fried with garlic or soya sauce.

• Bird’s Nest

The Chinese make soup out of this, and one bowl costs anywhere from
$30 to $100! Considered one of the most costly animal products consumed by humans, it is so expensive because the nests can only be harvested a few times per year.

• Rooster Testicles

In Taiwan, rooster testicles are considered a good source of protein and they are either stir-fried or stewed. Their market price is unknown but they are prized as a natural substitute for Viagr

• Cow Urine

For about US $3 per bottle, if you live in India, you can buy this “health drink” that many Hindus believe has medicinal qualities. A sacred animal in India, urine from the cow is distilled before it is blended with traditional Indian herbs and medicinal plants. One brand, Gauloka Peya, is available in four flavors: orange, khus (fragrant grass), rose and lemon.

• Deep Fried Insects

Topping off the list of specialty foods is this protein-rich delicacy from Thailand, which costs about US $33 cents per scoop at vendors’ stalls along the streets of Bangkok. Choices include: locusts, grasshoppers, cockroaches, ants and maggots, just to name a few.

As for me, please pass the barf bag.