OMG Experts Say You Can Eat 17 Year Cidadas…They Are A Delicacy
I have an idea for your next BBQ…the best part is your meat will be plentiful and it will be FREE. Are you ready for this one? YOU CAN EAT CICADAS. I'm serious, billions of bite-sized, protein packed little meals are about to surface right in your backyard. I’m dying as I write this but apparently, they taste like shrimp.
They are actually being called "the shrimp of the land" by entomologists (smart people who study bugs). Cicadas are actually arthropods which means they have an exoskeleton or hard outer layer much like the arthropods of the sea (shrimp, lobsters and crabs). After that explanation, either eating cicadas are seeming less gross OR shellfish are seeming gross for the very first time, I'm not which one it is.
The Magicicada, cicada just spent 17 years underground snacking on the roots of plants, trees and vegetables getting nice a plump for us. Now, they're coming above ground to shed their skin and mate. Like other edible insects, cicadas are actually nutritious. They are high in protein, low in fat. The best time to harvest them is when they are freshly surfaced from the ground and shedding their outer layer. They will be green and soft at this point and ripe for the picking. You can eat them as the day goes on, but they will harden a bit and offer a crunch.You'll want to pull off the wings, because, they can get stuck in your teeth. Ew.
There are a couple dozen recipes for how to specifically prepare cicadas. It is suggested to quickly boil your harvest to kill and clean them before eating. I’m not kidding you can actually google cicada recipes and cookbooks online that offer recipes like German Chocolate Cidada Cake!
Those with food allergies, specifically those who are allergic to shellfish, should consult their doctor before eating cicadas. I would love to over hear that conversation.
See more info on eating cicadas here.