The time Jeff & Kylie tried eating Hunterdon County cicadas
UPDATE: Did they chicken out? Scroll down to see what happened Friday!
So I’m giving you the first half of the story before we know the conclusion. On the show Friday afternoon Kylie Moore is filling in for Bill Doyle with me and we have challenged ourselves to something rather odd.
With the Brood X cicada invasion peaking right now in New Jersey we keep seeing these articles about how cicadas are actually a good source of protein and that some people eat them.
We only get a disgusting opportunity like this once every 17 years so we figured we’re going to try it.
On the Friday, June 11 show in the 4 o’clock hour, Kylie and I will attempt to eat these bugs. Will we be able to mentally get past the gag reflex? You’ll have to tune in to find out. To be honest, I don’t even know. But I’ll try.
Now how did I get hold of cicadas you ask? Because our listeners are the best. A guy named Bill who lives in Pittstown wrote me an email saying that his property was crawling with them and that he would scoop some up for me if I wanted to come and get them. We had an email exchange and Thursday night after the show I met up with him at his house and he had about a dozen live cicadas in a double Ziploc bag waiting for me. This guy was super cool and I cannot thank him enough. Oh, here’s a video of them in the bag when I got back in my car.
Now how do you kill them? There’s a couple of methods. One is to simply blanch them. Blanching is what you would do to a live lobster; basically just throw them alive into boiling water for several minutes. To me that was too cruel and I read that the humane way is to put them in the freezer and they die more peacefully.
Now from my massive Google research project I learned you could just go straight for the frying pan from here. But I also read boiling them for a few minutes will kill off any harmful bacteria so that was my plan. But when should the wings come off?
Honestly I was not sure whether I should have removed the wings and legs before or after boiling but I did it before.
Then it was boiling time.
Next it was a little oil in a pan and the frying process.
Here’s the finished cicada snack product in a container to bring to the radio station.
Will we chicken out or will we eat them? We will know in the 4o’clock hour. Stay tuned, and then check back in tomorrow on this same article where we will add an update with the pics or video of what happened.
UPDATE: We did it!
Not in the smoothest or bravest fashion, but we did it. The whole thing was really in doubt when I first took the lid off the container and the most putrid stench of cicadas hit us. Now I don’t know if it was because I fried them too long or if fried cicadas always smell this horrific but it was awful.
Then the moment of truth arrived. First we took selfies of the cicadas just dangling from our lips, kind of trying to get our courage up and get used to the idea.
Then I chose to go first. I thought going first might make it easier on Kylie but my reaction probably only made it worse.
The taste wasn’t the problem. It was the mental hurdle of knowing you were biting into the body of a bug.
Next was Kylie’s turn, and she almost puked. Here’s the selfie video.
She made it too! Mission accomplished. I even went back for a 2nd one a few minutes later just trying to prove to myself I could manage it. Would we do it again? Well, not for 17 years.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.