FDA: Seafood Allergy? Don’t Eat Cicadas
The FDA came out with a warning yesterday: if you have a seafood allergy, do NOT eat cicadas!
It appears that the cicada is a distant cousin to the shrimp and the lobster, and anyone with a seafood allergy may have an adverse reaction if they ingest the insects.
The reason cicadas are such the topic of discussion as of late is because Brood X, the most recent generation of the insect, emerged from the ground within the past few weeks. How many of them? Well, buggers aren't exactly certain, but the number is in the billions.
Brood X cicadas have been underground for 17 years, as their "parents" did the deed in 2004. What do these cicadas do once they emerge? Well, they will make lots of noise, gather in (an estimated) excess of 1 million cicadas per acre, make half a million unions (if you know what I mean), and then die.
Fast forward 17 years: more cicadas. Wash, rinse, repeat.
So, why the warning NOT to eat them if you have a seafood allergy? Well, obviously, it's because people are eating them. Which is fine, if they are cooked enough (and by "enough", I mean "cooked until their guts are dry". You don't want a squishy one). I am certain they contain a lot of protein. And, of course, the whole relation to shrimp and lobster.
Cicada tacos, fried cicada, cicada cookies - the list goes on. I understand that the best way to cook them until they are "unsquishy" is in an air fryer. I am sure that a good baking will dry them out, too.
I would try cicada tacos, with cilantro and a salsa verde. I would try cicada cookies, if ou add oatmeal and chocolate chips. I would try chocolate-covered cicadas. Again, as long as they are cooked until they are "unsquishy". (Can you tell I like using the word "unsquishy"? Is has a much grander effect than the word "dry", no?)