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What do tarantulas and dogs have in common?

If you read our last post you know that I scarfed down a crispy tarantula on the streets of Siem Reap in Cambodia. And if you’re thinking that the thing tarantulas and dog have in common is that I ate them both …well…you’re right.

You see, the tarantula thing was a spur-of-the-moment-I-am-kicking-a-nice-little-buzz and “omg – look at that, tarantulas!” type situation. I ate that little bugger and felt pretty good about my decision. It didn’t taste good at all but I did it. I have always watched shows on Bravo or Food Network or something of these hosts eating some really strange things and wondered “what does that taste like..?”  Now I know. I have no intention of eating more spiders. One – or really just the top half of one – is plenty.

But then I found myself on a food tour in Hanoi. I was asking our tour guide if the locals eat dog. She confirmed they did, quite often actually – and that you could buy it on the street no problem. That wasn’t the case in Cambodia. In fact our cab driver once offered to arrange a sit down where we could eat dog and cobra but it seemed very, very shady. We passed. But it intrigued me. Now, supposedly, I would have an opportunity to give it a shot in a much more open and welcoming environment.

Pet owners watch out…

I’m kidding. You don’t need to keep a close eye on ole Fido, but I did have some dog and …got to say, I did think that it was quite delicious. Really tough and fatty (thick…SUPER thick skin that I wasn’t a fan of). No one else in our group of 6 on the food tour had any interest in trying dog. (note: Lindsay did try a small piece, but wasn’t thrilled about it) Maybe they had one, I don’t know – but I was surprised – I thought for sure someone else would join me.


This little guy … JK, not this particular one. My understanding are the dogs are specifically raised as food – think sort of like cows. I didn’t confirm this information. I can say that Hanoi does not have a stray dog problem…


I had no idea what to expect when I asked to try some dog. I think that the food tour guide thought I was kidding at first. Then she left the restaurant we were at and came back with a to-go styrofoam box. The (dog) meat was presented quite nicely for costing less than $1 from a street vendor. I only had a few pieces, Lindsay had a piece. I can’t quite explain what it tastes like. But I am little sad to say that it was really good. Nothing I want a whole steak of or anything, but it didn’t taste bad at all.

Translation: Dog meat.


I think that I am done for a few days with the really adventurous stuff. (Spoiler alert: first day in the Philippines we asked our taxi driver to stop for some lunch. He asked we were OK with traditional Filipino food, we of course said sure. I had what the driver and the server simply called “chicken” – but I can tell you that I didn’t recognize one thing in this “chicken” dish. I am afraid I unwillingly ate everything that we in America clean out of chicken before we consume it. I suppose it was chicken. Either way – pizza, burgers, pasta and french fries for a while for this guy. And lettuce sandwiches, of course 😉


One thought on “What do tarantulas and dogs have in common?

  1. Pham Tuyen

    Hi Jeff,

    Yes in Vietnam people do eat dogs. And guess what? They eat cats as well. I’m a local Vietnamese but I’ve never tried dogs or cats in my life. I love them! All of my friends say I’m stupid as I don’t eat that delicacy. Believe me I’ve got too many other choices.

    In some way I’m against eating dogs and cats as it encourages pet thieves. I’ve lost a few cats and one dog and I think I could kill the thief who stole ( and eat ) my children.

    It was brave of you to try it. Thanks for sharing!
    Pham Tuyen recently posted…“Phở”-How to eat Vietnamese noodle soupMy Profile

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