Billions of cicadas are about to emerge in the US - here’s how to cook them

Billions of cicadas are about to emerge in the US - here’s how to cook them
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After being buried underground for a whopping 17 years, billions of cicadas are emerging onto the scene. They are a part of Brood X, which began in 2004. Brood X is one of 15 broods (or groups) of periodical cicadas that appear throughout the eastern United States.

The cicadas are making their grand entrance into parts of Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia, and Washington D.C.

And if you’re wondering exactly what cicadas are, let’s do a little breakdown.

Cicadas are evidently a type of insect. They pack a lot of noise, and there are many of them. But despite what many people commonly think, cicadas aren’t the same thing as locusts and grasshoppers. They are in the same family as a leafhopper.

According to theUniversity of Connecticut,  cicadas pose no threat to people. They don’t bit, eat away at crops and flowers, or Carrie poison, despite how creepy they may appear.

With this in mind, did you know that you can consume cicadas?

National Geographic and Bon Appetite dished out some recipes.

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One of the common themes about eating cicadas is that you have to get the ingredients yourself. National Geographic states that the insects are the best for consumption after “the nymphs break open their skin and before their exoskeleton turns black and hard.”

The recently hatched insects are called tenerals and are best captured in the early morning. This happens after they come out of the ground but before they scurry to the trees, making it harder to get them.

National Geographic also states and that if the tenor roles aren’t available, the next best cicada to get your hands on is adult females. 

Their bellies are fat and full of nutritious eggs. Men are reportedly crunchier with little to no substance due to their hollow abdomens.

So what can you make with cicadas?

Entomologist Jenna Jadin an author of a cicada cookbook, and cicada expert and biologist Gene Kritsky have noted a few things.  

National Geographic states that Jadin created a cocktail called “Red Eyes” which is vodka, Campari, extra dry vermouth, and orange juice mixed together. Two candied cicadas to add a cinnamon sugar garnish to it. They also state that they can also saute them or make them into cupcakes by roasting the insects for 10 to 20 minutes, then stir until it gets to a cake batter consistency.

If you want a southern twist, Bon Appetit showcases a recipe for cheese and grits with a side of grilled onions and pepper, similar to a nice plate of shrimp and grits.

We’ll stick to the grocery store for now, but if you do try them out - let us know how it goes.

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