Now hear me out, cicadas just might taste like chicken.
See, I started thinking about this last week when I noticed the social media world “abuzz” and begin to lose it’s collective mind about the newest FDA warning on Twitter:
“We have to say it! Don't eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”
Like many people, my first thought was one of disgust. Eeks! Why in the world would the FDA feel the need to post this silly warning! Who in their right mind is thinking about eating these loud and annoying bugs?
But then...like I tend to do, I started thinking more on it.
First of all, we live in a world where teenagers need to be warned to not consume laundry detergent in the form of Tide PODS. So maybe their Public Service Announcement about the cicada chow-down wasn’t all that unwarranted.
Let’s not forget the warning is also timely. 2021 marks the 17-year cycle for the loud locusts known as Brood X to emerge from their underground homes by the billions to fill the air with “humms” and attract a mate to complete their life-cycles. Across the country between May and June these critters are emerging and apparently making some chefs curious about cooking such a unique delicacy.
In thinking on that note, is it really strange that our fellow American’s are considering gorging (or at least nibbling) on these rare “cousins of crustaceans”?
I mean, personally, I love to sit down to that first in-season crawfish boil of the year and feast until I’m practically comatose from being too full. But at what point in our human past, did someone decide, “Yup, that’s a mudbug. Let’s eat it.”
Maybe crawfish aren’t the choice for many people, but I know plenty of friends who decline to eat a crayfish, yet will eat fried popcorn shrimp with gusto. Well, I got a tad tip from some marine biologists, shrimp are basically known as the coach roaches of the sea.
Look, I know when it comes to food, I’m not that picky. I approach food with the idea of “I’ll try anything once.” Over the years, I’ve said “yes” to many things those with a delicate palette might object to eating like octopus, shark, alligator, quail, goose, escargot, caviar and a questionable Boudain ball from a food truck on the side of a road in Louisiana. I mean just a couple weekends ago, I visited a little restaurant in Desoto County and tried a frog leg for the first time. It wasn’t terrible. It actually tasted a lot like chicken.
So maybe I’ll cut these cicada cooking and eating renegades some slack. Maybe their creations will be tasty. And who knows, while it’s important to remember to not eat cicadas with an allergy to seafood, they just might taste a lot like chicken.