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Cicadas, anyone?

Cicadas, anyone?
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  • Post #61 - May 24th, 2007, 7:18 am
    Post #61 - May 24th, 2007, 7:18 am Post #61 - May 24th, 2007, 7:18 am
    Cathy2 wrote:I had my first cicada's this evening to find they tasted more than acceptably good.


    C2, I was much impressed with your gusto vis a vis eating cicadas. I like the tempura ones just fine, but you went after those suckers -- and others -- with an enthusiasm we are not likely to see from many others.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #62 - May 25th, 2007, 6:49 am
    Post #62 - May 25th, 2007, 6:49 am Post #62 - May 25th, 2007, 6:49 am
    Just wondering. since this is America's #1 Cicada-Eating site, has anyone really tried them? And if so, what's the best way to prepare them? Hey maybe I'll even give 'em a try. Maybe we should all get together on this one???
    Thanks
  • Post #63 - May 25th, 2007, 7:12 am
    Post #63 - May 25th, 2007, 7:12 am Post #63 - May 25th, 2007, 7:12 am
    Evilus,

    Your thread was merged with the already present and growing cicada thread.

    Yes, I know David Hammond, Cooksguide (screen name) and I have been cheerfully eating them the last two days. I brought some over to my friend Bruce Kraig, Culinary Historian, who had been to STicky Rice for their grasshoppers and bamboo caterpillars within the last week. He thought the cicadas were very flavorful as opposed to the fresh from the freezer (no criticism, simply stating facts) insects. So fresh is far superior flavor to frozen, so this is a good time to get your fill.

    Collectively, we have BBQ, deep fat fried as-is (blanched specimens) and tempura. They have been eated inside sushi rolls, as-is or mounted on cream cheese, goat cheese and jelly for quite a visual impact. Yes, a french fried cicada arching up at you as you eat it. What we haven't done yet is eat them fresh from the tree. This might be my territory to explore, though you are welcome to try and advise.

    If you have allergies to crustacean's, then cicada eating is definitely out for you. For those who need to know, no ill effects have been realized by me for eating our vintage bugs.

    What do they taste like? Nutty in the direction of sesame paste or peanut butter.

    Pictures and video clips will follow once I catch up with my work here. Scroll up above or look in the total media domination thread to find links to news reports featuring some LTH people.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #64 - May 25th, 2007, 9:17 am
    Post #64 - May 25th, 2007, 9:17 am Post #64 - May 25th, 2007, 9:17 am
    Image
  • Post #65 - May 25th, 2007, 9:58 am
    Post #65 - May 25th, 2007, 9:58 am Post #65 - May 25th, 2007, 9:58 am
    The march continues...this morning on WLS 890 AM.

    http://bandyrooster.com/hammond/wls.htm

    Thanks d4v3 for recording...

    David
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #66 - May 25th, 2007, 11:21 am
    Post #66 - May 25th, 2007, 11:21 am Post #66 - May 25th, 2007, 11:21 am
    I'll put up pictures of the grand radio event when I get home this afternoon. Nice turnaround on the audio - our webguys don't have the podcast link up on the site yet, but I'll post it as soon as it gets up there.

    There is, right now, a deep-fried cicada atop the mic in Studio A, awaiting the inevitable freakout from Roe Conn.

    (Oh, and hey - good to meet you, David.)
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #67 - May 25th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    Post #67 - May 25th, 2007, 1:14 pm Post #67 - May 25th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    HI,

    Looking forward to seeing the pictures. I definitely want our favorite hypochodriac to go wild when he sees the cicada. Oh to be a fly on the wall!

    ***

    I finally saw some cicadas in my yard. They are on a terraced area with a southern exposure. I don't see any other activity.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #68 - May 25th, 2007, 7:53 pm
    Post #68 - May 25th, 2007, 7:53 pm Post #68 - May 25th, 2007, 7:53 pm
    Has anyone tried cicadas on pizza yet? I'll bet you Burt would get a kick out of it.
  • Post #69 - May 25th, 2007, 8:13 pm
    Post #69 - May 25th, 2007, 8:13 pm Post #69 - May 25th, 2007, 8:13 pm
    All this talk about eating Cicadas, though I am sure you are really wondering what are we really eating. Please note all these preparations began conservatively with blanching the cicadas. It may seem redundant given their preparations, though it was a comforting first step.

    Probably the easiest introduction to Cicada dining is via a Japanese sushi roll. These rolls were designed by Carolyn who will very likely post her recipe. The key ingredient is tempura cicada thoughtfully arranged where a wee head and tale would poke out from either end.

    Image

    Cook's Guide Marilyn Pocius had two recipes that I have on video clips, but not in stills. One was called Beauty and the Beast: rose petal with flavored cream cheese with a cicada mounted on top. Marilyn also marinated and grilled cicadas, which did appear on the Good Morning America segment. This preparation introduced smoke that quickly overtakes the subtle taste of the cicadas.

    Everyone's first impression of cicada dining is the nutty flavors with opinions varying from almonds, peanut butter to sesame paste. This got me thinking Cicadas could be a key ingredient for a variation of Ants on a Log (celery filled with peanut butter or cream cheese with raisins arranged on the filling). The Cicada already having the nutty quality substituted for peanut butter. I experimented filling celery with blueberry jam dab then mounting a cicada on top:

    Image

    When I proposed the above variation, David Hammond proposed substituting all the key 'Ant on a Log' ingredients to make an adult appealing 'Cicada on a Log.' French Endive was substitute for celery and fresh goat cheese for the filling.

    Image

    I also think Cicadas could be featured in a variant of Thai one-bite salads. Oh the imagination runs wild when confronted by a new ingredient!

    I have a video clip of an interesting discussion with Bruce Kraig, Culinary Historian, who was sampling everything pictured above for the first time. You can find this here.

    Bug-appetit!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #70 - May 26th, 2007, 8:01 pm
    Post #70 - May 26th, 2007, 8:01 pm Post #70 - May 26th, 2007, 8:01 pm
    I am considering throwing a back yard cicada cooking/eating part in Oak Park... Anybody want to attend?


    Marilyn, I'd love to attend. Thanks for organizing!

    Sharon
  • Post #71 - May 26th, 2007, 10:34 pm
    Post #71 - May 26th, 2007, 10:34 pm Post #71 - May 26th, 2007, 10:34 pm
    Well, on my beat today, the cicadas started emerging in the "woods" lazily -- nothing like Hammy's motherlode. Perhaps they were depressed by the rain. Nothing in the more residential sections, yes, undisturbed, despite the fact that the soil temp has been above 64 degrees for a couple of days now.

    -ramon
  • Post #72 - May 26th, 2007, 10:57 pm
    Post #72 - May 26th, 2007, 10:57 pm Post #72 - May 26th, 2007, 10:57 pm
    I had cicada quiche that a friend prepared, and though cicadas were abundant, I detected no nutty taste. Perhaps my friend used too much nutmeg, but that and eggs were all I could taste. Or was that cicada instead of nutmeg I was tasting?
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #73 - May 26th, 2007, 11:10 pm
    Post #73 - May 26th, 2007, 11:10 pm Post #73 - May 26th, 2007, 11:10 pm
    Cynthia wrote:I had cicada quiche that a friend prepared, and though cicadas were abundant, I detected no nutty taste. Perhaps my friend used too much nutmeg, but that and eggs were all I could taste. Or was that cicada instead of nutmeg I was tasting?


    The taste is very subtle. I find that even a dab of chevre just about overwhelms the nuanced tang of a cicada grub.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #74 - May 27th, 2007, 8:06 am
    Post #74 - May 27th, 2007, 8:06 am Post #74 - May 27th, 2007, 8:06 am
    A neighbor's son is visiting Australia, and he sent home an email that contained the following:

    There is an ant down here--the green ant--that people hunt for and then lick its butt. I guess it has a citrus taste and is supposed to be delicious. There is even a bush-tucker (wild australian food) restaurant that makes a salsa-like sidedish of the ant butts. I've never tried them, but some friends say they are not too gross.

    Now that cicadas are have become a regular part of our diet, I'm ready to seek out this delicious-sounding ant.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #75 - May 27th, 2007, 8:26 am
    Post #75 - May 27th, 2007, 8:26 am Post #75 - May 27th, 2007, 8:26 am
    Cynthia,

    What was your overall impression? How was the texture? So far we have favored preps that fry or toast the cicadas. A soft texture like your quiche is not where we have travelled yet. What stage of development were your cicadas? David HAmmond definitely likes his cicadas fresh from the ground like veal. :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #76 - May 27th, 2007, 10:31 pm
    Post #76 - May 27th, 2007, 10:31 pm Post #76 - May 27th, 2007, 10:31 pm
    The cicadas were a pretty substantial size, but my friend had hatched them herself, and I don't think they were full grown. She did say you could tell when you bit into one that had gotten a little age on it. The texture of the cicadas was somewhere between the mushrooms in the quiche and the quiche itself -- if no one told you, you might miss it -- well, if you didn't look at it, as they bug bodies were pretty obvious.

    As for the green ants David mentioned, on my first trip to Australia, while camping in Kakadu National Park in the Top End, we had a guide who would scoop up and down a handfuls of green ants in the morning, telling us they were high in Vitamin C. Can't say that he convinced me.

    Actually, the ant I never did get to try in Australia but would have liked to have tried was the honey-cask ant. It's that one you've seen where it is fed nectar until its abdomen swells. The Aborigines dig them up and eat them as bush candy. Though I will say that, given how much work it takes the colony to fill up one ant, I'd feel rather bad about chomping on one.

    Wichity grubs are popular bush tucker in Oz, as well. They are great, fat, whitish grubs that grow in the roots of wichity bushes. They looked squishy, so I passed. I do draw the line at squishy.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #77 - May 28th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Post #77 - May 28th, 2007, 12:55 pm Post #77 - May 28th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Hi,

    The cicadas are just beginning to creep out in my neighborhood. I noticed my 150-200 year old Ash tree had some black spots on the Ivory Queen allium ringed around it:

    Image

    Just a bit closer:

    Image

    My Sum and Substance hosta wasn't ignored either:

    Image

    I have the sense the crawlers may be blind because they missed the tree, then began using my hostas as their first stop:

    Image

    Image

    My retiring bulb plants were also pressed into use:

    Image

    Image

    I had read the AP story featuring David Hammond while in Ann Arbor for the American Culinary History Symposium. Recognizing tulle to wrap young trees was going to be in short supply in Chicago. Josephine and I bought yards of tulle. Unfortunately I didn't buy enough. My local fabric store ran through 600 yards of tulle last Tuesday. None was available, though I did find leopard print curtain sheers marked down to 99 cents a yard down from $9.99 a yard. Yes, it is my wee tribute to Elvis on my front lawn covering my Limelight Hydrangea:

    Image

    The cicadas were not too impressed since they are also using those covers for their convenience:

    Image

    Do you think they might respond to Elvis singing?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #78 - May 28th, 2007, 9:19 pm
    Post #78 - May 28th, 2007, 9:19 pm Post #78 - May 28th, 2007, 9:19 pm
    A: As long as it’s a love song. Even I swoon when Elvis sings Love Me Tender, even my timapani vibrate.

    I thought today was the day I ate cicada, but my daughter B fell so completely in love with them, I could not. The mass emergence, as of this afternoon, has been a mere minor incursion, mostly in some sunny patches with high grass. The cicadas were docile things and willing companions, more than happy to perch on your hand and accompany you on your travels. They were generally quiet in a good-listener sort of way. Who couldn’t make friends?

    Image

    though … as dusk descended … the ground beneath our feet began to writhe with the bodies of long buried creatures …

    -ramon

    edited to optimize pic size
    Last edited by Ramon on May 29th, 2007, 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #79 - May 29th, 2007, 12:03 pm
    Post #79 - May 29th, 2007, 12:03 pm Post #79 - May 29th, 2007, 12:03 pm
    The Wife, youngest daughter and I will be preparing cicada on "Chicago Tonight," tonight at 7:00PM. Also, C2 and I go into the wild to forage -- should be kind of amusing.

    It'd be much appreciated if anyone with the requisite technical skills could capture the show digitally. Thanks in advance.

    David
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #80 - May 29th, 2007, 12:07 pm
    Post #80 - May 29th, 2007, 12:07 pm Post #80 - May 29th, 2007, 12:07 pm
    I look forward to watching you demonstrate your culinary skills.

    Jyoti
    Jyoti
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
    Ruhlman
  • Post #81 - May 29th, 2007, 12:12 pm
    Post #81 - May 29th, 2007, 12:12 pm Post #81 - May 29th, 2007, 12:12 pm
    Marilyn,

    What is the status of the Cicada Party on JUne 3?
    If it is still on, I woud love to attend.

    Thanks.

    Jyoti
    Jyoti
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
    Ruhlman
  • Post #82 - May 29th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    Post #82 - May 29th, 2007, 1:14 pm Post #82 - May 29th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    The cicada party at Marilyn Pocius' (chefguide's) house is now "full."

    If you already contacted Marilyn with your RSVP, see you there.

    If you haven't already contacted Marilyn with your RSVP, see you in 17 years. :D

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #83 - May 29th, 2007, 2:50 pm
    Post #83 - May 29th, 2007, 2:50 pm Post #83 - May 29th, 2007, 2:50 pm
    More from the WLS interview:

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    I'm probably destroying the margins with this post - first time figuring through this photo thing.

    If it doesn't work, I'll try to figure through the resize deal.
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #84 - May 29th, 2007, 3:03 pm
    Post #84 - May 29th, 2007, 3:03 pm Post #84 - May 29th, 2007, 3:03 pm
    Hi,

    What was Roe Conn's reaction?

    I did hear Jerry Agar this morning commenting, "The cicadas were really good!"

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #85 - May 29th, 2007, 3:37 pm
    Post #85 - May 29th, 2007, 3:37 pm Post #85 - May 29th, 2007, 3:37 pm
    Roe was woefully underimpressed with the placement of the cicada.

    I was hoping for an audible shriek, but it was more along the lines of a "what are these crazy kids doing" sigh.

    Offering the leftover cicadas around the office was entertaining, though.

    "No, really, they're good with salsa!"

    [cue fake retching noises]
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #86 - May 29th, 2007, 4:53 pm
    Post #86 - May 29th, 2007, 4:53 pm Post #86 - May 29th, 2007, 4:53 pm
    Still nothing in the Des Plaines River area (Mt Prospect -> Northbrook). I've been out in the woods a couple times in the last few days, and no holes, no shells.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #87 - May 30th, 2007, 6:14 am
    Post #87 - May 30th, 2007, 6:14 am Post #87 - May 30th, 2007, 6:14 am
    Still America's #1 Cicada-Eating Site!

    Here's the detailed and fun Chicago Tonight segment:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POcE5xtczhI

    Unfortunately I had some audio problems, the cutouts toward the end are not your machine but mine. But they're minor and it's watchable.

    To recap the links to news coverage of Cicada '07 and LTHForum in one place, here's the earlier Good Morning America segment:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nwcZ1vBs4g

    Longer version of same on WLS TV:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sectio ... id=5336385

    Hammond on WLS Radio:

    http://bandyrooster.com/hammond/wls.htm

    The AP story, at MSNBC:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18780937/page/2/

    Canadian Public Radio interview:

    http://www.cbc.ca/aih/latestshow.html

    When you get to the site, select Part 1, As it Happens. Interview begins at about 18 minute 35 seconds.
    Last edited by Mike G on May 30th, 2007, 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Post #88 - May 30th, 2007, 8:53 am
    Post #88 - May 30th, 2007, 8:53 am Post #88 - May 30th, 2007, 8:53 am
    Interestingly, we had a nice cicada emergence in our backyard in Highland Park, but my neighbor didn't have any. I also checked Sunset Woods last Sunday and couldn't spot any, even in the "natural" part of the woods.

    I've sauteed up two batches over the past few days. Truly an interesting taste. The mouth feel reminds me of good ol' Louisiana soft shell crabs, which are one of my favorite foods.

    Regards,
    GP Bob
  • Post #89 - May 30th, 2007, 9:37 am
    Post #89 - May 30th, 2007, 9:37 am Post #89 - May 30th, 2007, 9:37 am
    David Hammond wrote:The Wife, youngest daughter and I will be preparing cicada on "Chicago Tonight," tonight at 7:00PM. Also, C2 and I go into the wild to forage -- should be kind of amusing.


    Nice to see DH, C2 and Carolyn on t.v.

    Can I have your autographs?:wink:

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #90 - May 30th, 2007, 10:34 am
    Post #90 - May 30th, 2007, 10:34 am Post #90 - May 30th, 2007, 10:34 am
    Grandpa Bob wrote:Interestingly, we had a nice cicada emergence in our backyard in Highland Park, but my neighbor didn't have any. I also checked Sunset Woods last Sunday and couldn't spot any, even in the "natural" part of the woods.

    I've sauteed up two batches over the past few days. Truly an interesting taste. The mouth feel reminds me of good ol' Louisiana soft shell crabs, which are one of my favorite foods.

    Regards,
    GP Bob


    There is the intent to make Po'Boy Cicada Sandwiches.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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