By Eric Scott:

The Cicada is called (by some entomologists) "the shrimp of the land." As they emerge from the ground by the billions, if you can't beat 'em, EAT 'em!

Flickr user: tinyfroglet

If you are considering becoming an entomophalogist (insect eater), I am offering a new recipe each day this week to help you enjoy these backyard delicacies.


Today's Recipe: Maryland Cicadas



1/2 cup Old Bay® Seasoning

2 tablespoons salt

4 quarts water

1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer (optional)

8 red potatoes, quartered

2 large sweet onions, cut in wedges

2 pounds lean smoked sausage, cut in 2-inch lengths

8 ears fresh corn, broken in half

4 pounds large cicadas


1. In an 8-quart pot, bring Old Bay, salt, water and beer to a boil. Add potatoes and onions; cook over high heat for 8 minutes.

2. Add smoked sausage to potatoes and onions; continue to cook on high for 5 minutes. Add corn to pot; continue to boil for 7 minutes. Add cicadas, cook for 5 minutes.

3. Drain cooking liquid. Pour contents of pot into several large bowls, shallow pails or mound on a paper-covered picnic table. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay if desired.










Soft-Shelled Cicadas


1 cup Worcestershire sauce

60 freshly emerged 17 year cicadas

4 eggs, beaten

3 cups flour

Salt and pepper to season flour

1 cup corn oil or slightly salted butter


Marinate cicadas, alive in a sealed container, in Worcestershire sauce for several hours.*

Dip them, in beaten egg, roll them in the seasoned flour and then gently saute them until they are golden brown.


4 main dish servings

*this step may be skipped and you may go directly to the egg step instead.




Today's delicious recipe for the Shrimp of the Land: El Chirper Tacos!!

So grab a handful of cicadas from your backyard, and ENJOY!



2 tablespoons butter or peanut oil

1/2 pound newly-emerged cicadas

3 serrano chilies, raw, finely chopped

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste

1/2 tsp cumin

3 tsp taco seasoning mix

1 handful cilantro, chopped

Taco shells, to serve

Sour cream

Shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce


1. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the cicadas for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

2. Remove from pan and roughly chop into 1/4 inch cubes. Place back in pan.

3. Add the chopped onions, chilies, and tomato, and season with salt, and fry for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

4. Sprinkle with ground pepper, cumin, and oregano, to taste.

5. Serve in taco shells and garnish with cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, and cheddar cheese.



I hope you are enjoying this weeks foray into entomophalogy! The cicada is not only a great source of protein, it's nutty flavor makes it perfect for both main dishes, and dessert! If you have a sweet tooth, try these Emergence Cookies!


These should look like cicadas emerging out of a little pile of chunky mud!


1/2 cup shortening

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

4oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 beaten egg white

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

about 60 parboiled dry roasted cicadas (roast for only 8 minutes so that they retain some moisture)


1. In a large bowl, beat shortening with eggs, the 11/2 cups sugar, cooled chocolate, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined, scraping sides of bowl.

2. Gradually stir in flour till thoroughly combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

3. Meanwhile, stir together the 1/3 cup sugar and beaten egg white. Place cicadas on waxed paper; brush with egg white mixture and set aside.

4. Shape dough into 1inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheets. Place a cicada on top of each ball, pressing lightly.

5. Bake in a 375 oven for 8-10 minutes or till edges are set. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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