Cambodia // Food and drink //

Cambodian delicacies

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Cambodians eat just about everything, and nothing escapes a true gourmet, not even insects. In the markets you’ll see big trays of grasshoppers, beetles and crickets, usually fried and sold by the bag, which are eaten like sweets. Spiders are a speciality of Skone, a town between Phnom Penh and Kompong Cham, where big black hairy tarantulas are skewered and fried.

Phnom Penh has a number of upmarket Chinese and seafood restaurants where, besides many varieties of shellfish and fish, snake, turtle and game such as deer, wild pig, rabbit and monitor lizard are served up. More mundanely, tiny sparrows, jarb jeyan, and other small birds can be found deep-fried in many Khmer restaurants. A few places also offer illegally hunted animals such as pangolin and bear, although a clampdown some years ago has reduced the practice.

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