When we think of eating insects, most of us cringe, and if we’ve hear of people eating insects the stories are usually from Africa or other countries where they have a myriad of edible insects including termites, ants, and grubs. But, America has bugs you can eat too. You may have already learned that some people here eat grasshoppers (also known as locusts) and crickets. Now we’re here to add to the list of America’s edible insects…
What is a Cicada?
The name, Cicada, means “tree cricket.” About 2500 species of cicadas live around the world and each makes their own buzzing or clicking song. They live underground for many years – often 13 or 17 years – and eat the roots of things. Then they come up out of the ground, shed their skin, and find a mate. The female will lay eggs in wood. When the nymphs hatch they eat some sap and make their way underground to grow into adults.
Can You Eat Cicadas?
Yes, cicadas are edible. While we may not think they sound good, Cicadas are a common dish in Africa and Asia. They are a good source of protein and are fat free. Some people say they are a lot like shrimp. Since I’m not a fan of shrimp, I think I’ll leave that judgement up to you!
Not quite ready to eat bugs? We get it! But, by your reading of this post, we’re guessing you’re a prepper like us, so we’d like to recommend, for your enjoyment,by Robin Edgerton and Angela England. It’s one of our favorite books!
There are a variety of edible bugs. In this video I’ll talk about the Cicada.
How to Harvest Cicadas
The best time to collect them for eating is when they first come out of the ground in the morning and are shedding their skin because they will be soft. You can eat them later but they will be crunchier and the wings might get stuck in your teeth. If you do collect them after they can fly the female will be meatier than the male due to the eggs. You can throw them into boiling water to kill them and clean them at the same time.
They are arthropods with an exoskeleton so you can use them in any recipe that you would use shrimp – another creature with an exoskeleton. If you are allergic to shellfish you should also avoid cicadas.