This is a big thing that some progressives are doing back East in the Acela corridor while the rest of us are grilling out on Memorial Day. I saw it on CNN this morning.
“Can you think of a good reason not to try a cicada, other than “ew”? I’ve posed this question to numerous friends and family, even my partner’s extended relatives, now that Brood X is swarming parts of the United States. Eating cicadas just makes sense, even for someone like me, who’s been a stalwart vegetarian since basically the last time they appeared, in 2004. They’re a bountiful and easy-to-forage protein source, they very likely won’t make you sick, and they’ve made appearances on some Native American and Chinese dinner tables for centuries. (Even Aristotle ate them.) Plenty of evidence suggests that they don’t feel pain the way other creatures do, if that kind of thing is important to you. I watched Fear Factor back when Joe Rogan was cool, I’d remind everyone. “Ew” alone cannot stop me.
Except maybe it can! a tiny voice burbled in my head as I pulled into the packed driveway at Cicadafest last Saturday afternoon. The event at the Green Farmacy Garden, a medicinal-plant sanctuary and educational garden in Fulton, Maryland, promised live music, cicada-inspired art, and yes, a cicada tasting menu. Throughout the garden, I could see maybe 30 people, a mix of couples and families, milling around. Volunteers, some barefoot, were running platters of cicadas in and out of the building. Among them was Veri Tas, the garden’s events and communications manager, a vegan who swore off industrial meat and dairy a decade ago and who was inspired to host Cicadafest partly as a way to try insect protein. You could easily have mistaken the event for a neighborhood barbecue hosted by someone’s environmentalist aunt, were it not for the conspicuous collection of folding tables holding our snacks. I approached them hesitantly, trying to ignore the beady red eyes and disapproving screeches of their cousins from the nearby bushes. …”
Apparently, the cicadas are crunchy and they gush when you eat them raw, which is what you would expect by looking at them. Brood X is the Great Eastern Brood.
We also have Brood XIX cicadas here in the Alabama Black Belt. I’ve never heard of anyone around here catching and eating our cicadas though. They last emerged in 2011 and will emerge again in 2024 when Joe Biden loses the election without any of us rednecks bothering them!