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Gingersnap
06-06-2011, 12:40 PM
Adventurous eaters chow down on cicadas
By Jennifer Justus, The Tennessean
Updated 05/29/2011 1:37 AM


NASHVILLE -- Ashlee Horne took a swig of tequila before popping a cicada into her mouth.

By Shelley Mays, The Tennessean

The Nashville native, who has weathered her share of 13-year cicada cycles, handled it with far more grace than a "Fear Factor" contestant: no tears, no trips to the nearest restroom.

After all, the insects have been enjoyed as culinary delicacies around the world for centuries. So why not in her kitchen ?

"We talked about it and (her husband, Jeffrey) said, 'You know people really eat them,' " she recalled, talking over dinner recently. "One of our relatives even said they taste really good with tempura batter and buttermilk."

Later that evening, they were in the yard with a pair of tongs, and then they had a skillet of butter, garlic and red-eyed critter.

But before noses turn up at the Hornes' choice of post-dinner snack, it's worth mentioning that the cicada comes from the Arthropoda group of creatures along with lobster, shrimp, crayfish and crab. According to Jenna Jadin of the University of Maryland, the inexpensive sources of protein are a staple in diets of Australian aborigines, New Guineans, Thai and American Indians. They were considered a special treat in ancient Greece and Rome and still are in Japan.

Before you eat a cicada

Check with your doctor. The University of Maryland recommends consulting with your physician before consuming cicadas. Pesticides and other chemical accumulation is possible though it should not pose a problem unless large amounts of the insect are eaten. The nutritional content also is unknown, so please take special caution if you have other food allergies such as soy, nuts, or shellfish, or contact allergies to other insects.

Choose wisely. Newly hatched cicadas called tenerals are considered best for eating because their shells have not yet hardened. Collect them in the early hours of the morning just after they have emerged but before they have time to climb out of reach. Simply scoop them into a brown paper bag.

Blanche or boil. Cicadas should be blanched (or boiled for 4 to 5 minutes) before eating and soon after they have been collected. Blanching helps their insides solidify a bit and will reduce the chance of any soil bacteria that could be living on or in them.

Source: Jenna Jadin and University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs, 2004

This year, Brood XIX cicadas have been emerging in parts of 14 Southern and Midwestern states.

So how does a cicada taste?

USA Today (http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/cooking-recipes/story/2011/05/Adventurous-eaters-chow-down-on-cicadas/47768998/1)

jendf
06-06-2011, 03:44 PM
My idea of adventurous eating is not having a napkin nearby. :D

SaintLouieWoman
06-07-2011, 07:01 PM
My friend in St Louis has 2 greyhounds who are chowing down on cicadas. She said that they won't eat their regular dog food dinner. :eek:

pyackog
06-07-2011, 09:14 PM
My friend in St Louis has 2 greyhounds who are chowing down on cicadas. She said that they won't eat their regular dog food dinner. :eek:

We had cicadas all over the place every year growing up on Long Island. My cats used to eat them. You could hear the CRUNCH even from in the house.

Gingersnap
06-07-2011, 10:00 PM
My friend in St Louis has 2 greyhounds who are chowing down on cicadas. She said that they won't eat their regular dog food dinner. :eek:

We don't have a big cicada issue out here (we do have some) but from time to time we have enough roly-poly bugs that Doc will eat them until he barfs and then re-eat the barf. In a bad Miller Moth year, the cat will eat them exclusively for a couple of weeks.

Good times. :rolleyes: