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All you can eat! Cicadas are considered shrimp of the land?

I’ve written about cicadas plenty of times, for all sorts of of reasons, but I never thought that I would ever be writing about them as a palatable dinner option. Of course there is a first for everything, even cicadas as a source of food. And I’m not talking about the end of the world here, where people would have to turn to cicadas for sustenance – I’m talking about people who are actually looking forward to cooking them up, when billions of the 17-year cicadas emerge in 2021.

An article in talks of the cicada as being the “shrimp of the land” – partly because they are abundant like shrimp, and partly because they taste like shrimp and should be considered a delicacy.

Apparently, cicadas are an overlooked delicacy that people should consider harvesting, cooking up, and eating. Yup, deep fried or served in a pie, these crunchy nutritious critters can be added to a number of dishes. Just remember…

  • Pull the wings off because they get stuck in your teeth
  • The best hunting for cicadas is in the early morning – when they are green and softest
  • Cicadas are arthropods, like shrimp or lobster – just on land, instead of in the sea
  • There is a cookbook dedicated to cooking cicadas – it’s called “The cicada cookbook

Just because we are not accustomed to eating cicadas doesn’t mean that they are not healthy, nutritious, and tasty (if prepared the right way). Similar to how people forage for ramps and mushrooms, maybe they should also be foraging for cicadas.

I’ll be looking for this indigenous bug to appear on a menu or two – heck, if for no other reason than for a chef to say that he or she was bold enough to try it out. I bet that there would be a lot of takers, especially if they were cooked up in a dynamite Buffalo wing sauce!

Lead image: Photo by Shannon Potter

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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