What You Need To Know About Eating Cicadas

Eating insects is nothing new, but just in case you’re thinking of capitalizing on the cicada infestation by adding them to your diet, here’s some information you should know. First, and most important, don’t eat cicadas if you’re allergic to shellfish. Since shellfish and cicadas are both arthropods, they contain the same proteins and if your immune system reacts poorly to those proteins, you’re sure to have a reaction. Assuming you have no allergy problems, you might want to know that young cicadas taste better than adults. With their tough exoskeletons, adult cicadas aren’t quite as delicious as their younger counterparts. How you can tell them apart is that the younger cicadas are in the teneral stage, at which time they appear white and juicy. You can catch them at night by shining a flashlight on building exteriors and tree trunks. Once you’ve gathered a bunch, store them in the freezer to euthanize them as humanely as possible. You can cook cicadas pretty much however you want. Blanching them first is a good way to kill off any germs, after which you can roast them, fry them, crush them into a steak marinade, bake them on top of cookies, or feature them in any other dish you can think of. It’s important to remember to cook them thoroughly to avoid “gushers.” Here’s a tip: if you’re squeamish about insect guts in your mouth, opt for fried cicadas over roasted ones. As for the taste, they’re said to taste a lot like asparagus and they pair nicely with Merlot. Bon appétit!