Low-Carb Cicadas
April 16, 2004 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Cicadas best served sauteed in butter and parsley apparently, or if you want to go more upscale: "The soft-shelled cicada, it's done just like a soft-shelled crab," says executive chef Frank Belosic, describing how freshly molted cicadas should be rolled in flour, pan-fried in olive oil, and finished with a sauce of white wine, butter and shallots.
posted by meehawl (23 comments total)
Great. Now the prices are going to skyrocket, and I won't be able to afford my delicacy anymore.

*runs off to hurl*
posted by stonerose at 6:00 PM on April 16, 2004

I plan on doing this, thanks for the link was wondering how to cook them. Like the article says Lobsters are insects too whats the difference once it's cooked loaded with fat and protein and can't beat the price.

Grubco Inc., a Fairfield, Ohio, company that is one of the nation's leading suppliers of edible insects

1000 x-large crickets for $14.. that's cheaper than dog food, in case anyones on a budget.
posted by stbalbach at 6:39 PM on April 16, 2004

If you eat shrimp, you are basically already doing this. Think about it.
posted by crunchburger at 7:21 PM on April 16, 2004

"Yeah, well, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie but I
wouldn't know 'cause I'm not going to eat the filty muthafucker.
posted by ColdChef at 7:37 PM on April 16, 2004

Disgusting things. There's a kind of fungus that infects cicadas, filling them up from the inside and eventually killing them. No way would I ever eat one of those suckers.
posted by xil at 7:43 PM on April 16, 2004

Anyone else have problems with the link? Safari seems to be in some kind of loop, loading a page, then redirecting to another page...
posted by emelenjr at 7:47 PM on April 16, 2004

The real lesson here is that you can cook anything in flour, olive oil, white wine, butter and shallots and it will turn out. Next up, pinecones. Mmm.
posted by Yogurt at 8:54 PM on April 16, 2004

meehawl - well, would those be three or seven year cicadas? This is important, you know - my wight watcher's udie says thsat rge that the seven year cicadas have a much higher carboohydrate count.
posted by troutfishing at 9:13 PM on April 16, 2004

The real lesson here is that you can cook anything in flour, olive oil, white wine, butter and shallots and it will turn out.

How true this is. I am also partial to a little leek and some paprika.
posted by meehawl at 10:04 PM on April 16, 2004

Shellfish are sea insects. Lobster, Crab, Shrimp, all bugs. Maybe not exactly technically according to science, but shellfish are to insects like chimpanzees are to humans if not closer. This is just my opinion. Think about it and form your own. I steer clear of shrimp and crab anymore since I figured out they were bugs.
posted by Eyegore at 11:32 PM on April 16, 2004

One time I was at a buffet and there were these meatballish things with no label. I figured what the heck and took one. It tasted good, but strangely familliar. I commented to my girlfriend that they tasted good as I brought back a few more from the buffer. "It's fried chicken livers" she says. Yuck!! Still it was kinda good, a bit like liverwurst (no wonder)...I didn't eat anymore though, and since then I never eat the unlabeled stuff at the buffet unless I can clearly identify it first.
posted by Eyegore at 11:37 PM on April 16, 2004

When I was kid in China, me and my buddies would go and catch cicadas. Then we'd throw 'em on a bonfire of newspapers. Their guts would sort of pop once they were done (like a popcorn!) and we'd eat it.

Tastes kind of salty. Not bad at all.
posted by aznblader at 1:44 AM on April 17, 2004

wow. that was a comment and a half. "my wight watcher's udie says thsat rge" ? Let me rephrase that

meehawl - well, would those be three or seven year cicadas? This is important, you know - my weight watcher's guide says that the seven year cicadas have a much higher carbohydrate count.
posted by troutfishing at 6:20 AM on April 17, 2004

Eyegore: crustaceans and insects are in the arthropod phylum (along with centipedes, millipedes, and arachnids)... they're about as "close" as humans are to cartilaginous fish. On the other hand, even if you insist on eating only crustaceans, you'd still be able to dine on easy-to-find pill bugs. Mmmm.
posted by Eamon at 8:41 AM on April 17, 2004

I don't care how closely related crabs and spiders are, I'm not gonna eat spiders.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 AM on April 17, 2004

Through bad timing and the need to use up my annual leave before 1 June, I am visitng Ohio from England for a couple of weeks at the end of May, staying on a farm with people who like to be self-sufficient and live off the land. Uh ... maybe that's not such a good idea now.

I don't eat shellfish precisely because of its insect-like appearance, it makes my stomach heave to see people peeling the shells off prawns and shrimp and eating them - ugh!

As an aside, what's even worse bad timing is that I will miss the FA Cup Final between Man Utd (my team) and Millwall, because my hosts have no TV. And it's on my birthday too :-( I have visions of spending my birthday trying to establish a dial-up connection on a hamster-powered modem to follow the game on bbc.com whilst my hosts cook up a delicious birthday feast of locusts ...

posted by essexjan at 12:35 PM on April 17, 2004

I can't help remembering (though I am trying!) watching my brother going on cicada safaris in our backyard armed with his trusty spring action Daisy BB Repeater (and yes, he does still have both eyes, as do myself and my sister) and his faithful hunting dog, Peppy the poodle.

Howard was a pretty good shot, I must admit - he could pick the cicadas right off a tree branch at 20 feet, whereupon Peppy would fill his purpose in the hunt by catching and eating the falling prey. Inevitably, he would soon try to lick my face with a wing or some other remains still plastered to his doggy lips. YIIIICCCK.

The joys of childhood, eh? (On a tangent, I got the same said BB gun confiscated from my brother by "borrowing" it and managing to score a nice hit on our sliding glass doors, leaving one of those perfect little cone shaped BB dimples... until in horror I reached out and lightly touched it with my finger, and the entire pane of glass split and shattered. Poor Howard was punished for "allowing" me access to his little WGD - weapon of glass destruction.)
posted by John Smallberries at 3:57 PM on April 17, 2004

Last time I was in Berlin a few friends took me to a great restaurant [site in German] that serves worms, grasshoppers, crickets, and ants.

I had Der Fliegende Holländer: grasshoppers, sans legs and wings, fried and served on an Indian curry and cous cous bed. It was pretty much what you'd expect, chewy and tasteless, but quite high in protein I understand.

Many peoples eat insects and similar: I've never tried the local NZ Huhu Grubs, but I imagine they're quite nice too.
posted by Paragon at 4:21 PM on April 17, 2004

I will now admit with a great deal of embarassment that a year or two ago I had my air pistol out, having a kid that needed an afternoon's entertainment.

On returning home I decided I might as well finish off the air cartridge -- we had to stop before it was empty -- so I set up a box, stuffed some newspaper in it, and shot.

As I pulled the trigger I suddenly had a pang of apprehension: perhaps the newspaper wouldn't do the trick at all. But it was too late. And, besides, it's a bloody air pistol: how much power can it pack?

Enough to put a hole through the window, it turns out. fuckfuckfuckfuck. How stupid could I be?

About $120 worth of stupid, it turns out, and only because I did the bulk of the glasswork myself.

posted by five fresh fish at 8:46 PM on April 17, 2004

I keep hearing how bugs aren't bad-tasting, and I keep telling myself I'm going to have to get over this deep repulsion and just do it.

I doubt I'll ever work up the nerve.

tho' apparently the average sort of person eats a dozen or so spiders a year while sleeping.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:48 PM on April 17, 2004

Don't do it. It's icky.
posted by Eyegore at 10:26 PM on April 17, 2004

I'm allergic to shellfish (fever, hives), something to do with a protein in their joints. Would I be allergic to cicadas? Oh what a missed opportunity that would be, oh yes, undoubtedly.
posted by meehawl at 9:16 PM on April 18, 2004

essexjan - It's probably going to be worse than you think. Any other spring in the last 17 years would have been better than this spring.
posted by Witty at 5:31 AM on April 19, 2004

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