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Community spider woman  tarantula staple food gets a snack  cambodia | Upload Lifestyle

Spider-Woman: Tarantula Staple Food Gets A Snack: Cambodia

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by: Sharai Hoekema
spider woman  tarantula staple food gets a snack  cambodia | Upload

One of the most common fears in mankind? Arachnophobia, or an intense and rather unreasonable fear of spiders and spider-like creatures. We get it, these eight-legged creatures are not as cuddly as a run-of-the-mill rabbit or baby goat, with their itch-inciting appearance and fast and unpredictable way of moving around. But the amount of tension that some people experience when faced with this member of the Araneae family is excessive, to say the least.
Recent research has found that some of those suffering from arachnophobia would even prefer diving with great white sharks or jumping out of an airplane to being locked up in a room with one of those critters for ten whole minutes.

Cultural fears

Speaking on an evolutionary level, there is absolutely no way in which we can rationalise this fear, or attribute it to our survival instincts. Instead, evidence points to it being a so-called institutionalised fear, a phobia that develops by exposure to the extreme reaction of others suffering from it. 

This makes it a fear that is largely cultural, rather than genetic. Those of us living in the western world are more prone to it, despite us not having any real poisonous types living in our area that we should actually legitimately be afraid of. Other cultures, living together with much more dangerous and sizeable members of the spider family, observe them with mild trepidation at best. And other cultures simply eat them. 

Spiders as a delicacy

In countries like Papua New Guinea and Cambodia, spiders are a real delicacy. (Coincidentally, these are also countries that rank very low on the worldwide arachnophobia index - yes, this actually is a thing.) Tourists that visit Asian hotspot-on-the-rise Phnom Penh, capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, are often amazed at the sight of street vendors selling fried tarantula and similar snacks. 


                                             Spider-Woman: Tarantula Staple Food Gets A Snack: Cambodia


Cooking shows all around the world have already zeroed in on the phenomenon, with world-famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay having sampled it. And although reactions are mixed, most would agree that it is a unique part of Cambodian culture that should be treasured. A part of their national heritage, if you wish.
(Also interesting: Insects As Food The New Agriculture Is Good For Our Climate)

Deep fried spiders are surely not for everyone, but for those who have grown up with the phenomenon, it is hard to consider the crawly creatures to be anything but absolutely delicious. Scary? Not in their minds. Tasty, that’s more like it. Especially the female tarantulas are treasured, for the tasty, caviar-like eggs that their bellies contain. 

Tarantulas as daily source of protein

In order to preserve this unique flavour, spiders are not gutted or cut up. Rather, after getting a quick wash in water, they are thrown in the pot and fried with some delicious spices. Alternative preparation methods include grilling them and serving them with a variety of dip sauces. Its taste is best described as crab, although the consistency is strikingly different. 

A-Ping, as the locals call it, have been eaten as just your regular source of protein for generations and generations. The dish originates from the farmland that Cambodia is well-known for, with farmers taking home any tarantulas that they find on their land for dinner. Especially during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, the communist party of Cambodia, food was tight - and therefore all possible food sources more than welcome.

Even after the communist regime, people still enjoyed their tarantula snack, some even attributing health benefits to it: from aiding lung and heart diseases all the way up to enhancing sexual desire. The wealthiest of this small Asian country enjoy its uniqueness and rarity, while the people on the street just enjoy its flavour - making it a sought-after delicacy. 

Threatened by over-hunting and deforestation

Unfortunately it is one that is becoming increasingly harder to find. The rising demand has led to over-hunting, while the deforestation of the Cambodian land is drastically reducing the tarantula’s territory. In the last two decades alone, Cambodia has lost more than 2 million hectares of forest - an alarming 23 percent decline. This land has been re-allocated for agricultural purposes, giving way to enormous cashew and rubber plantations. 
(Also interesting: 
Deforestation: No! Celebrate National Tree Day With WhatsOrb)

As the tarantulas enjoy the woods, they are finding themselves struggling to stay in their preferred ecosystem. Furthermore, their declining number makes them much harder to find, which means that fewer people are still attempting to. It will be much more profitable to get a job on one of the plantations, instead of hunting for the tarantulas. 

Steep decline in population

This leaves the job of hunting spiders to the poorest of the poor, who are often ruthless in their methods: over-hunting is commonplace, as is the use of dangerous chemicals, with no regulations whatsoever in place to protect the treasured species in her survival. 

All of this has led to a steep decline in the tarantula population, which may soon find itself at risk of extinction. It may mean the end of not just another animal species, but also the end of a treasured piece of local cuisine - as well as threaten the livelihood of those who have turned it into a business. As long as the government remains hesitant to take action to prevent this from happening, the A-Ping might literally find himself in the frying pan.

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Spider-Woman: Tarantula Staple Food Gets A Snack: Cambodia

One of the most common fears in mankind? Arachnophobia, or an intense and rather unreasonable fear of spiders and spider-like creatures. We get it, these eight-legged creatures are not as cuddly as a run-of-the-mill rabbit or baby goat, with their itch-inciting appearance and fast and unpredictable way of moving around. But the amount of tension that some people experience when faced with this member of the Araneae family is excessive, to say the least. Recent research has found that some of those suffering from arachnophobia would even prefer diving with great white sharks or jumping out of an airplane to being locked up in a room with one of those critters for ten whole minutes. Cultural fears Speaking on an evolutionary level, there is absolutely no way in which we can rationalise this fear, or attribute it to our survival instincts. Instead, evidence points to it being a so-called institutionalised fear, a phobia that develops by exposure to the extreme reaction of others suffering from it.   This makes it a fear that is largely cultural, rather than genetic. Those of us living in the western world are more prone to it, despite us not having any real poisonous types living in our area that we should actually legitimately be afraid of. Other cultures, living together with much more dangerous and sizeable members of the spider family, observe them with mild trepidation at best.   And other cultures simply eat them.   Spiders as a delicacy In countries like Papua New Guinea and Cambodia, spiders are a real delicacy. (Coincidentally, these are also countries that rank very low on the worldwide arachnophobia index - yes, this actually is a thing.) Tourists that visit Asian hotspot-on-the-rise Phnom Penh, capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, are often amazed at the sight of street vendors selling fried tarantula and similar snacks.   {youtube}                                              Spider-Woman: Tarantula Staple Food Gets A Snack: Cambodia Cooking shows all around the world have already zeroed in on the phenomenon, with world-famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay having sampled it. And although reactions are mixed, most would agree that it is a unique part of Cambodian culture that should be treasured. A part of their national heritage, if you wish. ( Also interesting:  Insects As Food The New Agriculture Is Good For Our Climate ) Deep fried spiders are surely not for everyone, but for those who have grown up with the phenomenon, it is hard to consider the crawly creatures to be anything but absolutely delicious. Scary? Not in their minds. Tasty, that’s more like it. Especially the female tarantulas are treasured, for the tasty, caviar-like eggs that their bellies contain.   Tarantulas as daily source of protein In order to preserve this unique flavour, spiders are not gutted or cut up. Rather, after getting a quick wash in water, they are thrown in the pot and fried with some delicious spices. Alternative preparation methods include grilling them and serving them with a variety of dip sauces. Its taste is best described as crab, although the consistency is strikingly different.   A-Ping, as the locals call it, have been eaten as just your regular source of protein for generations and generations. The dish originates from the farmland that Cambodia is well-known for, with farmers taking home any tarantulas that they find on their land for dinner. Especially during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, the communist party of Cambodia, food was tight - and therefore all possible food sources more than welcome. Even after the communist regime, people still enjoyed their tarantula snack, some even attributing health benefits to it: from aiding lung and heart diseases all the way up to enhancing sexual desire. The wealthiest of this small Asian country enjoy its uniqueness and rarity, while the people on the street just enjoy its flavour - making it a sought-after delicacy.   Threatened by over-hunting and deforestation Unfortunately it is one that is becoming increasingly harder to find. The rising demand has led to over-hunting, while the deforestation of the Cambodian land is drastically reducing the tarantula’s territory. In the last two decades alone, Cambodia has lost more than 2 million hectares of forest - an alarming 23 percent decline. This land has been re-allocated for agricultural purposes, giving way to enormous cashew and rubber plantations.   ( Also interesting:  Deforestation: No! Celebrate National Tree Day With WhatsOrb ) As the tarantulas enjoy the woods, they are finding themselves struggling to stay in their preferred ecosystem. Furthermore, their declining number makes them much harder to find, which means that fewer people are still attempting to. It will be much more profitable to get a job on one of the plantations, instead of hunting for the tarantulas.   Steep decline in population This leaves the job of hunting spiders to the poorest of the poor, who are often ruthless in their methods: over-hunting is commonplace, as is the use of dangerous chemicals, with no regulations whatsoever in place to protect the treasured species in her survival.   All of this has led to a steep decline in the tarantula population, which may soon find itself at risk of extinction. It may mean the end of not just another animal species, but also the end of a treasured piece of local cuisine - as well as threaten the livelihood of those who have turned it into a business. As long as the government remains hesitant to take action to prevent this from happening, the A-Ping might literally find himself in the frying pan. All about Lifestyle