Monday, May 20, 2013

Cicadas: "The Shrimp of The Land"

Billions of bite-sized snacks are about to appear in your backyard.

After nearly two decades living under the earth, cicadas are about to shake off the dirt and invade our great outdoors.

And they'll be ripe for your feasting says Isa Betancourt, an entomologist from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

"It's a delicacy that's rare," says Betancourt, who's known to dine on a few bugs from time to time.

She calls cicadas "the shrimp of the land."

"They are arthropods, which means they have an exoskeleton," she said.

"We regularly eat the arthropods of the sea and those are the shrimp, lobsters and crabs. And so cicadas are arthropods too."


For the squeamish, Raupp says he has a land and sea analogy he likes to use.

"Have you ever eaten an oyster or a clam out of the bay?

"It lives on the bottom of the bay and filters, you know what (feces)," he said.

"You'd eat this thing, but would not eat this delectable insect that's been sucking on plant fat for 17 years?

"I think it's weird."

Betancourt is more pragmatic, offering this piece of advice for the cicada-eating virgins:

"Close your eyes when you're taking the bite."

[recipe links]