Cicadas: it’s what’s for dinner!
January 19, 2009
March 3, 2007
Weird Meat: Cicadas in Jinan. Weird Meat is a blog about non-Western food (no cows and chickens) like cicadas. Check it out.
So minutes later, we had a huge plate of fried bugs. I’d say about a hundred of these little bite-size insects were deep-fried crispy. Everyone liked them. Even my friend Boya from Texas, usually not as adventurous a diner, enjoyed them.
December 5, 2006
Cicadas are well known bioaccumulators of mercury. If consuming mercury is a concern, you should not eat cicadas.
Dogs, cats, squirrels, fish and people can’t stop eating cicadas.
Are they crazy, or “crazy like a fox”? (Foxes will eat them too.)
Pets and other domesticated animals
People want to know: “is it safe for my pets to eat cicadas”. The truth is in most cases your pets will be fine if they eat a few cicadas, however you still need to be cautious and keep a close eye on your pets. Watch them for odd
behavior, and don’t let them gorge themselves. Be cautious: the Humane Society has warned Cicadas Dangerous to Pets.
Pet related concerns:
- Pets can choke on the rigid wings and other hard body parts of the cicadas.
- Pets will gorge themselves on cicadas, and possibly become ill and vomit.
- Pets who consume cicadas sprayed with copious amounts of pesticide can and will die.
- Pets might have an allergic reaction to the cicadas just as people do.
Pet related links:
- channelcincinnati.com: Cicadas Could Make Your Pets Sick
Bottom line: play it safe, and don’t let your pets eat cicadas if you can help it.
Whether they’re curious or doing it for the shock value, people are eating cicadas. Asian peoples have eaten cicadas for centuries, and there arerecords of Native Americans eating cicadas. People joke that they’re Atkins friendly. I’ve heard they taste like asparagus, popcorn, minty shrimp, and piney shrimp — ummmm, pine.
A man in Bloomington Indiana had an allergic reaction to cicadas after eating 30. He was also allergic to seafood — both cicadas and shrimps are arthropods so this makes sense.
People related concerns:
- Cicadas are well known bioaccumulators of mercury.
- You could choke on their hard body parts.
- You could have an allergic reaction. If you’re allergic to seafood, don’t think about eating them.
- Do you really want to eat something that’s been marinating in lawn fertilizers,
pesticides and other chemicals for the past 17 years?
People related links:
- Recipe Book ! Cicada-licious: cooking and enjoying periodical cicadas: the ultimate guide to cooking and eating cicadas. [Adobe Acrobat PDF]
- National Geographic: National Geographic News :Low-Fat, High Protein Cicadas: New Health Snack
- Stephanie Bailey’s Internet insect cookbook has tips on how to prepare insects for human consumption!
- INSECTS FORMERLY USED AS FOOD BY INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA NORTH OF MEXICO.
Bottom line: You’re not a contestant on Fear Factor. Why eat cicadas when you can choose from many of the fine menu choices at Applebees?
If you must cook or eat cicadas, why not wear a Cicada Chef apron?
Fish, squirrels and everything else
If it has a mouth, or some other part to digest cicadas, it will try to
eat them. Cicadas make great fish bait. Squirrels (yes, they’re nuts for cicadas too),
birds, possums, raccoons, foxes, other insects, fungi… they all love cicadas.
Wildlife related links:
Bottom line: let nature do the dirty work and clean your yard one bite
at a time.
October 25, 2005
I came across this article thanks to Google’s news alerts: UC Engineering Researchers Find Mercury In Cicadas. I’ve never eaten a cicada and I don’t plan on doing so in the future, but a lot of “cicada maniacs” do, so here’s your PSA.
Think twice before you eat one of Cincinnati’s Brood-X cicadas. That’s the warning from researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, who have found surprising levels of mercury in these insects.
July 27, 2005
These sort of things disgust me, but I’m posting it anyway.
Four cups of chopped rhubarb, 1 cup of fresh cicadas, washed and any hard parts removed; 1&1/3 cups white sugar, 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1tablespoon butter, and a 9-inch double crust pie crust.
You’ll find the rest of the recipe in this article from the Arizona Republic: Answering bug query is easy as pie.
June 27, 2005
From this article in the Shippensberg Sentinel:
Jake Crider takes a bite of a chocolate-covered cicadas. He has kept a container of pre-cooked, frozen periodical cicadas that he harvested last year.
May 2, 2005
Deep End Dining has a post about cicada soup, including a picture of a big steaming bowl of them.
May 15, 2004
In isolated pockets across the Washington area, periodical cicadas have begun to emerge in heavy numbers, the silent beginning of an infestation of black-bodied, red-eyed insects that is going to get a lot more intense and a lot more noisy before it ends next month.
Every 17 years they emerge. To some, it’s a dream come true: an opportunity to see nature in full-blown action. To others it’s a waking nightmare: the invasion of the really big bugs with the big red eyes.
Too good not to share: Cicada-licious: cooking and enjoying periodical cicadas: the ultimate guide to cooking and eating cicadas. [Adobe Acrobat PDF]