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Cricket Cuisine Has Folks Jumping for Joy
December 19, 2001 9:16 am EST
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Residents in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh are licking their lips at the arrival of an annual insect delicacy -- giant egg-bearing crickets.
Female crickets, heavily laden with eggs in the cooler month of December, have been snapped up in city markets by health-conscious Cambodians who like to eat them deep fried or raw.
"It's a delicious snack and good for health," said Chhiv Heang, devouring a bag of fat crickets at the city's Phsar Thmei (New Market).
"We only get to eat them once a year," she said.
Cricket vendor Srey Khieng, 38, said business is brisk.
With help from her daughter, Srey Khieng can sell up to 44 pounds of crickets on a good day.
"They're selling out. People like to eat crickets carrying eggs because they are good for malaria and colds," she said.
Insects are a staple snack food for Cambodians who also like to munch on tree ants, silkworms, water beetles and the top local dish -- giant hairy spiders.
Cricket hunters sell the egg-bearing insects for $15.30 per kilo in December, vendors said.
But the price of crickets plummets to less than a dollar per kilo during the hatching season early the next year.
[And of course a picture!!!!!]
-- Anonymous, December 19, 2001