Our friends on the East Coast are enjoying an every 17-year emergence of extremely large insects called 'Cicadas.'
This invasion is being referred to as 'Swarmageddon.' Judging by how large they appear to be, I can see why.
Cicadas - formerly known as locusts - are huge insects that hibernate underground for years, eating the roots of trees, vegetables and shrubs. They emerge from their underground lairs to shed their skins and mate. Female cicadas lay eggs deep in tree branches, which scars the trees and causes damage. They are generally dreaded for this, and for the strange noise they make. Apparently the sound is quite loud and annoying.
However, for some, this emergence of gigantic insects is the perfect opportunity for a feast. According to a recent article published on NBC Philadelphia's website, cicadas are apparently quite nutritious: the "shrimp of the insect world."
Online, you can learn how to make Cicada German Chocolate Cake, and there is an actual cicada cookbook called, "Cicada-licious." Yikes.
Entomology professor Mike Raupp says, in the article, "Boiled they’re going to taste a lot like shrimp. If you eat them au naturel, raw, they’ve got a delicate nutty flavor; a buttery texture,” he said. “I like the soft-shelled ones.”
Entomologist Isa Betancourt suggests trying to grab them fresh from the ground before their shells harden to get the best flavor. *shudder.*
Say what they will about eating these protein-rich, low fat bugs, but I think I'll take a pass. This story reminds me of how much I love living in the Northwest, where the insects are small, and therefore likely hard to find on any local menu.