YES! I really wanted a reason to post these pictures again, and now I have it!
That's right, that is me chowing down on a fried spider, a delicacy I enjoyed when I visited Cambodia in 2008. According to Wikipedia, the species of spider used in Cambodia is the Thai zebra tarantula. I figured it was some sort of tarantula, because it was pretty large -- the legspan was larger than the palm of my hand, easily:
I did not travel to Skuon, the epicenter of fried spiders in Cambodia, but instead had this particular morsel during my first evening in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. I had told my friend for some time that I wanted to try one, so she knew exactly where to go, and when I asked for one, the woman running the cart made me pick. I had no idea what to do, so I picked one that looked like a spider (eight legs, venomous fangs, stuff like that), and paid 1000 riels (about $0.25) for it. The cart also featured huge beetles (or cockroaches, I was not quite sure), the biggest crickets I have ever seen, and what I think was a small species of python (or maybe a baby python) on a stick. I regret not trying the snake, though a few days later I did have python at a restaurant in Siem Reap.
What does it taste like? Well, they fry it with garlic and sugar and what I assumed was something like soy sauce, so it was crunchy, salty-sweet, and garlicky. The cephalothorax of the spider contained a flaky white meat, reminiscent of crab, but I could not really taste anything distinctive about it. The abdomen, which contains a lot of organs, had a discernable taste, something like the muddy flavor I associate with eating a shrimp head, or any of the various parts in the head of a lobster. Not great tasting, but not terribly offensive, either. I suppose the best part of eating a fried spider are the looks you get from your friends :)