Its now almost four years since I first tried baby bee in Ratanakiri and I have to say the first time that I did I was not sure if I loved, or hated it. The feeling went on for a while before I opted to try it again, and like many an acquired taste I slowly began to love it.
Have you ever eaten baby bee (កូនឃ្មុំអាំង)
In research for this article I Googled eating baby bee only to find little to no information about it. There is a recipe from Denmark for Nordic “baby bee ceviche”, as well as one from The Japan Guy. He states it is delicacy in Japan and shows us a tin of the stuff, which looks nothing like kind I eat
I personally have seen the dish in Ratanakiri, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh where I often eat it. You can have it delivered in the capital, or you will get it at specific Khmer restaurants. Today I had it at Preah Neak Battambang – which means it is Battambang cuisine. I am really into the eggs of Battambang.
And from what I can gather from Khmer friends the dish is also popular in Laos, although no one from Laos has yet to confirm this/ I’ll also go out on a limb and say the Chinese eat it, for they eat pretty much everything else.
What does baby bee taste like?
When I first tried it I honestly felt like it tasted a bit like puke, but I now realize that was because of all the different tastes involved. So, it is baby bee, so there is honey in there, there is also wax, so it is not meat, nor vegetable.
When it is cooked the Khmer duly add pepper and onions before they grill it, this means that when you eat baby bee it is a real genuine afront on all of your senses.
This of course changes when you know what you are going to receive and honestly when it is all mixed together there truly is nothing else comparable. That does not mean it is the best food in the world, but merely that you cannot simply say “tastes like chicken”. It tastes of baby bee.
Should you eat baby bee and just how gross is it?
I actually like eating baby bee and every few months get a real giving for it, so therefore I think everyone should try it. I am though perhaps a bad example as I also like balut.
I’l also add that it is nowhere near as disgusting as tamilok, BUT if you are going to try it you will need to give it more than just one try, baby bee truly is the definition of an acquired taste.