One of the most intriguing and freakishly scary foods I've tried over the years would be a grilled tarantula during a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. Feasting on the largest spiders I've ever seen was quite the adventure, but aside from the fact I'm slightly arachnophobic, they really weren't that bad. If given the chance and the opportunity to catch a spider larger than my head, I would certainly grill them up again.
Things You'll Need
- Medium open-flame fire.
- Banana leaves (or other large leaf capable of retaining heat)
- Wooden skewer or stick
Obtain the spider and remove the front mandibles and fangs.
Place a skewer lengthwise through the spider. Start at the thorax and extend through the body and exiting at the head area.
Begin scraping off any excessive tarantula hair, then toss them directly on the fire. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on direct flame.
Remove from the direct flame, wrap several banana leaves around the charred tarantula and place on indirect flame for 5 additional minutes. This will steam the inside of the tarantula, because this is a wild creature capable of carrying numerous parasites.
Pull the banana leaf wrap from the fire, open carefully and you have a freshly cooked tarantula. Eat the tarantula as you would a lobster or crab by cracking various segments of the exoskeleton (i.e., shell). According to my tour guide, it was a tradition for a first-time consumer of tarantula to use the fangs as toothpicks.
Tips & Warnings
- Abandon your fear of strange things and jump in and enjoy the experience.
- Make sure to laugh at yourself when others poke fun at the strange look on your face after the first bite.
- A little salt and Tabasco sauce makes the meal rather enjoyable.
- The exoskeleton is edible, but has a burnt corn chips taste. I preferred to skip this part of the meal.
- The fangs on tarantulas can be 1/2 inch to 1 inch in length, so be careful if you are killing or cleaning them without supervision.
- A bite isn't generally fatal, but is very painful, so use extreme caution if catching or cleaning your meal.
How to Treat a Tarantula Bite
Tarantulas are not normally aggressive spiders, which is why many people keep them as pets. But if you do get bitten by...
How to Feed a Tarantula
Tarantulas are fascinating to keep. They eat often and heartily, which can be fun to watch. Live insects are the staples of...
How to Care for a Rose Hair Tarantula
Native to Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, rose hair tarantulas, known scientifically as grammostola rosea, are one of the most popular species of...
How to Kill a Tarantula
Spiders are not-so-welcome house guests for many families. They thrive in warm, damp areas and chances are, they are more afraid of...
How to Catch a Tarantula
Whether you choose to collect a tarantula for observation or to keep it as a pet, developing a pitfall trap is an...
Tarantula Tequila Drinks
Ranging in hue from vibrant blue to radiant red, the four flavors of Tarantula Tequila can be used to create a variety...