Eating Scorpions in Vietnam

by Sandra Foyt on June 20, 2010

in Food Adventures

For all that I enjoy exploring culinary flavors, I’d never make it on a Survivor or Fear Factor type show as there are some foods that I won’t try.

Long ago, I too was a foolhardy teenager who could be bribed to take on idiotic challenges.  Friends still shake their heads recounting the time that I dove into shark-infested waters for a measly $20 dare.  Another challenge, sporting a purple streak of hair for a week, netted me a cool $100. Sure, I was an idiot, but at least I wasn’t losing dumb bets.

With the greater wisdom of age, I have no problem turning down “special dishes” when they belong in the wild, not on my plate.

My dear husband; however, is not so easily immune to a food challenge.

Back in 2004, on a family vacation in Vietnam, we found a restaurant that served an unusual assortment of exotic foods.  It was a once in lifetime opportunity to sample adventurous fare such as scorpions, field rats, or worms.


I had no trouble just saying no.  Dave, on the other hand, was torn. He didn’t want to pass up such a rare opportunity, and the kids were begging him to get the scorpions. He was scared and disgusted, but how could he resist the challenge?  Macho man just had to order the scorpion dish.
Once he placed the order, there was no turning back.  We weren’t going to let him back down.  We also weren’t above a few chicken cackles. The coup de grâce was that our four-year-old friend, Joseph, had no fear handling the scorpions.  He even seemed to enjoy them!

Now, I’m not going to tell you that this turned out to be a surprisingly delicious dish.  I wouldn’t even know, as I held firm.  However, Dave did taste the scorpion and claimed it was alright, just a bit crunchy.

At least one member of our family is a truly adventurous epicurean.

Kid eating scorpion.

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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