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Aug 3, 2010 05:39 PM

The cicadas are driving me insane with their seduction chatter . . . so, I got to wondering, how do they taste?

No, really. I was googling when the average cicada just DIES already, so that I could anticipate the blessed day, but what I found instead were websites instructing me to just eat them. I even found a newspaper article reporting how popular they were, as an snack, in 2007. Now, that's revenge. I wondered what they tasted like.

And, of course, my second thought was, "I wonder if anyone on Chowhound has ever eaten a cicada? And do they have a recipe?"

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  1. No, I've never eaten one, but a quick Google search revealed a whole *collection* of cicada recipes here:

    We expect a full report of your experiment! :)

    1. LOL, I want a report too! Those suckers are sure loud. Now if only they pair well with groundhogs...

      1. Haven't ate them either, but I seem to recall Andrew Zimmer? saying most insects taste like seafood. Makes sense in a way, when you think about the whole exo-skeleton similarities. They're probably at a similar place on the food chain as shrimp and crawfish so I say skewer a couple and through them on the grill... and then let me know if I should try (wink).

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          1. You've probably come across this page which has a zillion cicada links including those that sell cd's with the sound of the insect. People pay to hear that.

            Anyway, waaay down on that page is this link

            Yes Virginia, there is more than one kind of cicada! Most of the news and information on this site is about Magicicadas -- those exceptional cicadas which arrive in select locations once every 17 or 13 years -- HOWEVER there are literally hundreds of other varieties of cicadas. One of North America's most popular type of annual cicada is the Tibicen. Visit Roy Troutman's Gallery of Tibicen cicadas.

            This photo from one of the site's galleries really defines the term 'bug-eyed"

          2. Man, I think about this ALL THE TIME. Eating insects fascinates me from a historical, nutritional, and ecological standpoint, but when I actually have a cicada in hand I start getting second thoughts. I guess if you are gonna eat a bug, cicadas are big enough to make it worth your while. This thread on LTH forum is entertaining, and I think has some recipes:

            5 Replies
            1. re: RealMenJulienne

              Me, too. I researched preparations, and am having serious second thoughts myself.

              One set of instructions advised me to remove the wings, and to be mentally prepared for the "scream", and then toss them into hot oil. The word 'scream' put a whole new perspective on this.

              1. re: onceadaylily

                In Indiana we have these huge brownish wasps. Their bodies are about the size of a chapstick and when they buzz by your head their wings sound like an industrial fan. I saw one of these things jacknife a cicada out of the air and it let out this bloodcurdling scream as it was carried away.

                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                  The ones we have on the east coat are a bit smaller and more colorful (sorta the same brown front you describe, but with a more typical yellow and black abdomen) but they do much the same. Those kind of wasp is called (not supsingly) cicada killers.

                2. re: onceadaylily

                  I have a hard time believing a cicada would scream when you prepare it, for the same reason that lobsters don't scream. They just don't have the physical apparatus for it, and I really wouldn't expect them to have the mental apparatus for it either. (Just to review, the sound that lobsters make when boiled is due to steam escaping. They don't have lungs, and they don't have a central nervous system).

                  1. re: Subvert

                    Just the thought of it was enough to make me understand that I was flinching away from preparing these for myself. And understanding *that* has made me look more closely at the remove at which I place myself concerning the kind of meat I put on my plate. So, maybe I should do it. Maybe I should force myself to do this, as a way of tearing away the curtain between me and my factory-farmed food.

                    They might not scream, Subvert, but surely the boiling oil doesn't tickle them to death.