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May 11, 2013 07:19 PM

Cicadas Anyone?

My original tongue in cheek post was quickly deleted, so I'll try again. As many know, many here on the east coast are about to experience a once in 17 year phenomena, the emergence of billions of chicadas. I've personally witnessed this twice in my life, and the sheer volume of these bugs, that lay and eat underground for 17 years before emerging in mass to mate and die off, is astonishing. More interesting that that is the supposedly taste delicious. Now, I realize that the mere idea of eating insects in the US is repugnant. According to the article below, in some cultures insects make up 20% of people's diet. These critters are supposed to be very much like shrimp or lobster and can be quite delicious. After all, like shrimp, crab or lobster they are merely meaty exoskeletons. Here's an article called, "Cidadas, the Shrimp of the Land," that discusses the reality of eating these bugs, complete with links to recipes to anyone adventurous enough to give it a go. After all, if 1 billion shrimp fell into your back yard, wouldn't you eat a bunch of them? Anyone here every tried these?

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  1. Okay I'll BITE :)
    I've eaten my share of bugs and lived to tell the tale. I find it fascinating if I'm being totally honest. The harvesting is tricky, the timing is important (as the article indicated) so I'd rely on a morning harvester for my guaranteed enjoyment and then treat it like any other edible topping. I especially like them crushed over hot soup and they are pretty cool to bring to parties made into clear candy lollipops.

    1. Yes, and no. I have never had a real full cicadas. However, I have had many cicadas shells, like these:

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Skins only? I would think the meat would be more appealing.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          They were used for soup. I should say the skin was removed after the soup was made.

      2. I read that the nymphs taste asparagus-like and the older cicadas have a rather nutty flavor. That said, I plan to leave them for the neighborhood wildlife to nibble on. But for those who do plan to chow down on them, this site has interesting tidbits about allergy and pesticide concerns.

        Note to self – don’t ask HillJ to bring anything to the upcoming bbq.

        4 Replies
        1. re: EM23

          ROFL! EM23, you would love me-always counted upon to bring the surprises but never pushy!

          1. re: HillJ

            You're alright HillJ. Just don't stick the lollies in my cocktail, and all is cool;)
            Happy Mother's Day!

          2. re: EM23

            <"Do you really want to eat something that's been marinating in lawn fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals?">

            Marinating in chemicals for 17 years! This is what I was going to say. I love seafood of all description. Lobster and shrimp are among my favorite foods but I'm staying away from these insects. Thanks for the article, EM23...

          3. When we had the big Brood X visitation in 2004, I went to a party and had a deep fried cicada nibble. It was OK but I'm sure more interesting things can be done with them. DC area is supposed to have another cicada season this year: Brood 2, I believe. We have a big cemetary complex nearby where chemicals are not used so I'd be up for eating more given the right preparation. My dogs enjoy catching them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tcamp

              Mmmmmm....I hear dog is good eatin'.


              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                Not mine! Tough and chewy, I reckon.

              2. re: tcamp

                I hope your dogs don't get sick/need vet intervention if insecticide/pesticides are in the systems of the Cicadas...

              3. The original comment has been removed