Everybody has been talking about the Cicada brood that is going to invade the Northeast and create all sorts of havoc this spring and summer.

Everything from that really loud buzzing mating call that is almost deafening when you're trying to enjoy the outdoors to the swarms that sometimes fly into people's hair...Cicadas are a pain in the butt. However, did you know that people actually eat these little pests? They are a great source of protein and aren't too bad when you deep fry them.

Eating bugs, or entomophagy according to the Washington Post, isn't that popular in the United States, but when the Cicadas come out...so do the frying pans.

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I actually graduated high school in 1987 during one of the biggest midwest Cicada broods. We tried to have our graduation outside and the Cicadas were so loud you couldn't hear the speakers. Anyway, I digress, there was a pizza place in town called Snappy Tomato Pizza and they changed their name to Snappy Cicada Pizza. It started as a joke, but we actually convinced them to make a pizza with fried Cicadas on it and I tried a slice. It wasn't bad at all, kinda crunchy and sweet. Don't believe me? Check this out.

According to a couple of articles I've read about eating Cicadas, it's best to collect them when they are in their teneral (kind of light yellow) and nymph (almost pure white) stages and not when they are full grown.

Some people dip them in chocolate, others will blend them up in a smoothy for the protein, but from what I've heard the best way to eat them is fried in butter with a little salt and pepper and then dip them in hot sauce.

I've actually tried them on pizza back in the 80s and they tasted kinda sweet with a nice crunch to them. Some people call them "Tree Shrimp" so why not dip them in cocktail sauce?

If you'd like to find more ways to eat Cicadas or you just want to be more grossed out check out Food.com or "Cicada-Licious: Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas" from the University of Maryland.

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