I maintain that I will try any food or beverage once (unless it is illegal or highly toxic). This will probably be a regular feature of my blog, where I taste something for the first time. Now, I will need to be sensitive about the comments I make. Just because I like something, it doesn’t make it inheritently good and if I don’t like it, it’s not necessarily bad. It’s just a case of personal preference. There will also be a large cultural element to this as well. Just because the average British person may not be used to a certain taste palate, does not mean it should be dismissed. A part of this is about me adapting to my surrounding culture, and attempting to integrate myself with elements of Cambodian life. It will never be a straightforward process, and some of it may involve me gritting my teeth and getting on with it. I’m sure the saying “beggars can’t be choosers” will soon become a personal motto.
About two weeks ago now, I caught a coach from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in order to go to a conference for my job as English teacher. I went with various people from my organisation, so it was quite a fun trip and it was a nice time to get to know different people. We had two stops and at one place they sold fried insects (crickets and I think maggots).
I decided that it probably wouldn’t be wise to try it while on a coach, and I’d have to buy a big bag anyway just to try one, so it’d be a waste. However, a boy on our coach, who is rather partial to edible invertebrates, bought a bag and offered me one. So, here’s the evidence of me trying it.
I’m quite glad the video cut short. I managed not to gag until I reached my seat at the back of the bus. The mixture of the dried spices on it plus a realisation of what I just put in my mouth nearly made me heave. As you can see, it was surprisingly difficult to get through, and in my eagerness to end the experience I perhaps swallowed somewhat prematurely. This resulted in something (perhaps a leg, perhaps a part of the outer shell) getting lodged in the back of my throat. I have quite an active gag reflex as it is, which I was doing my best to suppress. Fortunately, I had the can of coke on hand. I’ve never got through a can so quickly.
I’m currently compiling a list of things that I might have to try:
- dried crocodile,
- salad with red tree ants,
- banana blossom salad,
- white choco cheese filled cakes.
So there’s no worries about me running out of things to film!