Cicada Recipes Are Apparently A Thing
Are you looking for a way to spice up your next dinner party? Does shrimp just not do it for you anymore? Have you ever looked at one of the billions of Brood X cicadas and thought, in the words of Action Bronson, “f!*#, that's delicious"? Well, folks, it seems you're not alone in all your cicada craving glory – since the emergence of the 17-year cicadas across the east coast earlier this summer, several recipes have popped up teaching you how to enjoy the once in nearly two-decade delicacy, centering the bug in a variety of dishes that are sure to excite and/or terrify the whole family.
Although the opportunity to eat a cicada isn't around too often, snacking on insects isn't an uncommon practice, according to Jenna Jadin, author of the extremely useful cookbook, Cicada-Licious. "Overall, over 1,000 insect species are eaten by humans," she wrote, delving into the benefits of eating insects. "Most insects are cheap, tasty and a good natural protein source," she continued. "Additionally, they are far cleaner than other creatures: grasshoppers and crickets eat fresh, clean, green plants whereas crabs, lobsters and catfish eat any kind of foul, decomposing material. Finally, insects are low in cholesterol and low in fat."
Now, what do we Americans do best when attempting to prepare a somewhat healthy food? Deep fry the hell out of it. In the Washington Post's seasonal recipe for Spicy Popcorn Cicadas, readers are instructed to kill “12 freshly emerged 17-year cicadas,” marinate them in Worcestershire sauce, before battering them up for a trip in the deep fryer. Yummy! While the publication notes that the insects are generally safe to eat, they warn against overindulging. “The creatures do not contain any toxic substances, but pesticides and other chemical accumulation is possible," the recipe reads. “Unless one binges on cicadas, however, experts say, this should not be a concern,” it continued, singlehandedly destroying everyone's big weekend plans.
Looking for something nice and cicada-y to wash down your cicadas? Well, folks, it seems the Homebrewer's Association has your back with their extremely complicated CicadAle recipe for a beer that includes roughly 1 quart of cicadas. “This may just be the most unique homebrew recipe you've come across yet,” boasts their site. “If you haven’t picked up from the name, CicadAle incorporates cicadas—an insect that emerges in parts of the world every 17 years—in the boil.” Yummy.
Yet as we all know no meal – cicada filled or not – is complete without dessert. Enter Jadin's (in)famous Emergence Cookies. Essentially chocolate cookies topped with “about 60 parboiled dry roasted cicadas,” these treats are sure to make anyone who eats them say “Wow! Why is there a bug crammed into my dessert?”
"These should look like cicadas emerging out of a little pile of chunky mud!" Jadin says of the, erm, appetizing cookie.
Now, Before you dig into your delicious treats, there is one caveat to know before chowing down on cicadas. Earlier this week, the FDA issued a safety warning, noting that those with tastebud-- sorry, shellfish allergies should steer clear of snacking on Brood X. “Yep! We have to say it!” the agency wrote in a Twitter post shared Wednesday. “Don't eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”
So folks, as long as you're not allergic to shellfish, have at it. Bon Cicadappetite!
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