In Print: Cooking With Cicadas

The Newscripts blog would like to be closer Internet buddies with our glossy print Newscripts column, so here we highlight what’s going on in the current issue of C&EN.

Apparently skewered invertebrates (and sea horses) are standard snacks in Beijing. The cicada shish kebobs are in the center. Credit: National Geographic/Photograph by Victor Fraile, Corbis

Apparently skewered invertebrates (and sea horses) are standard snacks in Beijing. The cicada shish kebobs are in the center.
Credit: National Geographic/Photograph by Victor Fraile, Corbis

The cicadas are coming. Here at Newscripts headquarters in Washington, D.C., we’ve been tracking Brood II’s invasion progress warily. Senior Editor Linda Wang, who has survived previous infestations and lived to tell the tale, assures the Newscripts gang that we will survive. As Linda remembers, the last infestation brought annoying buzzing sounds and dead bodies strewn on the sidewalks–dead cicada bodies, that is. Phew.

As she writes in her Newscripts print column this week, Linda isn’t terribly worried about this impending resurrection 17 years later. Instead, she’s adopted the stance of “if you can’t beat them, eat them,” thanks to her discovery of some  cicada recipes in a National Geographic article.

“Cicada recipes?!” you exclaim. (Okay, we exclaimed it.)  Apparently insects are high in protein and low in fat and carbs, which we suppose sounds healthful. There’s even a legitimate, university-backed cookbook that has recipes for cicada dumplings, cicada rhubarb pie, and sizzling chili cicadas.

Linda isn’t quite ready to go home and blanch some cicadas she finds on the sidewalk, however, just to try out these recipes. “I can barely cook normal food on my own, so if I eat cicadas anywhere, it’d be at a restaurant or fast-food joint,” she muses.

So far, she’s tried a grasshopper taco at a tapas restaurant in D.C. and recalls: “Honestly, there wasn’t much flavor to it, it was just salty and crunchy. Not terrible, but not amazing either!”

She also thinks it would be fun if McDonald’s chimed in with a cicada milkshake on the Dollar Menu. “If I have to eat a cicada,” she says,” I might as well enjoy it!”

If you enjoy it so much, Linda, you can have ours, too!

 

 

Author: Sophia Cai

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