A tasty treat, perhaps, if you have the nerve

judi turpen

While playing on the internet, I decided one day to become an instant expert on the 17-year phenomenon known as the invasion of the cicada bug.
I found first that they have a life span of four to six weeks once they come out from their underground incubators.
Secondly, they mate only during this “end of life” cycle for them, and the female drops her eggs and the little nymphs burrow their way underground to await their turn to mate in another 17 years.
The adults grow to the mere size of .8 inches to 2 inches.
One thing I remember hearing more about this time than I do the last cycle was how tasty these little critters can be. (Although I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to try one.)
I did, however, decide to go searching for cicada recipes and found some very interesting ones.
Some specialists have touted how healthy they are as a source of calcium and vitamins A and C. Recommended most was stir-fry dishes with a strong caution for anyone who has an allergy to shellfish.
Another highly boasted video was a candy-maker who sells chocolate cicadas that are washed and frozen, then air baked before sprinkled with a choice of spices before being coated with chocolate. So far, the candy-maker says she has back orders for four weeks.
Some chefs suggest cooking them live, sauteed in butter or olive oil, or deep frying them for a nice crispy treat.
Another google search took me to a 1902 recipe that ran in an Ohio publication for Cicada and rhubarb pie.
I found more than 1,500 recipes using cicadas, and I thought some seemed very curious, but I’m just not ready to commit to actually putting any to the test.
Besides the ick factor, there’s a potential risk factor involved in my decision. Cicadas are susceptible  to a strange fungus.
Males usually get it first and then transmit it to the female, and both die within a very short time.
I haven’t found anything that says how toxic the fungus may be to those who decide to taste the little critters.
But that little tidbit of information was enough to keep the cicada off my plate.