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Cicadas, anyone?

Cicadas, anyone?
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  • Post #91 - May 30th, 2007, 10:47 am
    Post #91 - May 30th, 2007, 10:47 am Post #91 - May 30th, 2007, 10:47 am
    I would like try to baking them, although they might just mush out. I saw a recipe for banana bread which used the bugs instead of walnuts.
  • Post #92 - May 30th, 2007, 10:53 am
    Post #92 - May 30th, 2007, 10:53 am Post #92 - May 30th, 2007, 10:53 am
    HI,

    I suggest toasting them to get the nutty effect.

    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 #93 - May 30th, 2007, 8:20 pm
    Post #93 - May 30th, 2007, 8:20 pm Post #93 - May 30th, 2007, 8:20 pm
    JACKPOT!!!^@!*!

    I was starting to worry today that I wouldn't find any cicadas to cook up for myself. But then... Walking home from post-dinner gelato tonight, my boyfriend and I spotted what's got to be the motherload of Evanston cicadas!

    We were walking on Hartrey as it turns into Pioneer, just off Central, and we noticed one...two...then dozens of cicadas crawling around in the grass and migrating down the sidewalk. I was very ill prepared. I never collected ants or grasshoppers or fireflies as a kid, so I had no bug collecting experience. I also wasn't carrying anything with me. Fortunately, I was wearing one of my boyfriend's t-shirts, which turned out to be the perfect gathering mechanism.

    Image

    Image

    Image

    I cringed at first, but after the first few, I could have gone on gathering the suckers for the rest of the night. We had to speed walk home because I could feel them crawling out of my makeshift pouch. My boyfriend commented, "I'm really glad you wore that shirt so that you could carry them. If I had to do it, I'd be much more of a girl about it." When I stared at him bug-eyed (HA!) for using such a stupid stereotype, he responded, "What?! You're not a girl at all!"

    I've already blanched my loot, a process which I was surprised left a scent reminiscent of burnt sugar in the house. My plan is to work my bugs into a pie this weekend.
  • Post #94 - May 30th, 2007, 8:27 pm
    Post #94 - May 30th, 2007, 8:27 pm Post #94 - May 30th, 2007, 8:27 pm
    Hi,

    Your resourcefulness reminded me of an event when I was 7 or 8 years old. My Grandmother had just sent us blue handknitted sweaters with little pockets. I was wearing my gift while investigating a pond with my friends. We found frog eggs, which I was sure my Mom would want me to have. I stuffed the little sweater pocket full of frog eggs. I was dreaming of my Mother's happy glee upon returning home with such great treasure. I was astonished to find she was quite angry because I had ruined my new sweater.

    I did get those eggs into a fishbowl and spent quite a few weeks watching them develop into frogs.

    I still have the sweater that is still not ruined all these years later.

    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 #95 - May 30th, 2007, 8:39 pm
    Post #95 - May 30th, 2007, 8:39 pm Post #95 - May 30th, 2007, 8:39 pm
    Helen's Mother's recipe for preparing cicadas:

    Chicken Adobo substituting cicadas for chicken.

    Mix together garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Boil de-winged mature cicadas in this sauce, then remove the cicadas. While reducing the sauce, saute the cicadas in a pan until they are crunchy.

    This is a very rough recipe, so look for a Chicken Adobo recipe for comparison. Believe it or not, I have committed to collecting and freezing cicadas for a midsummer feast. Given my track record, I guess it is not too unbelievable.

    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 #96 - May 30th, 2007, 8:46 pm
    Post #96 - May 30th, 2007, 8:46 pm Post #96 - May 30th, 2007, 8:46 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:I cringed at first, but after the first few, I could have gone on gathering the suckers for the rest of the night. We had to speed walk home because I could feel them crawling out of my makeshift pouch. My boyfriend commented, "I'm really glad you wore that shirt so that you could carry them. If I had to do it, I'd be much more of a girl about it." When I stared at him bug-eyed (HA!) for using such a stupid stereotype, he responded, "What?! You're not a girl at all!"


    When I went out hunting with chefsguide, I was impressed by her fearless gathering of the bug. She got like 8, and I got 1. Then, the next morning, I plucked over a hundred. You get used to handling the sticky legs fast.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #97 - May 31st, 2007, 6:49 am
    Post #97 - May 31st, 2007, 6:49 am Post #97 - May 31st, 2007, 6:49 am
    Chicken Adobo substituting cicadas for chicken.


    That's funny. We just made chicken adobo over Memorial Day weekend. My recipe is pretty rough too. It's about 3T soy sauce to 1T apple cider vinegar. The key is lots of pepper. My godmother always claims that her chicken adobo is special because after the chicken is cooked, she empties the pot, draining and reserving the sauce. Then she heats up some oil, returns the chicken to the pot for a few extra minutes so that the skin gets a little crispy. That's the most crispy I've ever had chicken adobo. Crunchy I'm going to have to think about...
  • Post #98 - May 31st, 2007, 6:54 am
    Post #98 - May 31st, 2007, 6:54 am Post #98 - May 31st, 2007, 6:54 am
    You get used to handling the sticky legs fast.


    We deep friend two cicadas before going to bed last night and ate them with some bartlett pear. It might have just been psychological--putting my mouth where my mouth has been and finally tasting a cicada proved more challenging than I thought--but I felt like the legs, particularly the front ones that seems to be more sticky than the others, scratched my throat a little bit going down. Has anyone else experienced this? Am I supposed to be removing the front legs?
  • Post #99 - May 31st, 2007, 6:58 am
    Post #99 - May 31st, 2007, 6:58 am Post #99 - May 31st, 2007, 6:58 am
    happy_stomach wrote:Image

    Now that is a Happy Stomach! :)
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #100 - May 31st, 2007, 7:38 am
    Post #100 - May 31st, 2007, 7:38 am Post #100 - May 31st, 2007, 7:38 am
    i dont get it. why the desire to eat them? is it just to prove how adventurous one is? these little critters spend 17 years underground. they come up-they dont hurt the trees, they dont bite humans. they make a lovely noise. i'm not gonna eat them- but rather enjoy their company for the short time they are here.
  • Post #101 - May 31st, 2007, 7:46 am
    Post #101 - May 31st, 2007, 7:46 am Post #101 - May 31st, 2007, 7:46 am
    justjoan wrote:i dont get it. why the desire to eat them? is it just to prove how adventurous one is? these little critters spend 17 years underground. they come up-they dont hurt the trees, they dont bite humans. they make a lovely noise. i'm not gonna eat them- but rather enjoy their company for the short time they are here.


    justjoan, you are a kind and good person. I assume you don't eat cows either, which don't hurt trees or bite humans and do make a lovely mooing sound. :wink:
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #102 - May 31st, 2007, 7:55 am
    Post #102 - May 31st, 2007, 7:55 am Post #102 - May 31st, 2007, 7:55 am
    Note - in the Red Eye this AM it said that if you are allergic to shellfish you MIGHT be allergic to Cicadas (to eating them, not to walking among them). They checked with an allergist who said proceed with caution if you are among the allergic.

    See
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20050601/letters.html (2nd letter)

    http://oaktreep.ehost.com/oaktreephysic ... /id12.html
    "Question: Do you really want to eat something that's been marinating in lawn fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals for the past 17 years?
    Sage advice: You should not even think about eating cicadas if you have a seafood allergy."
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #103 - May 31st, 2007, 7:56 am
    Post #103 - May 31st, 2007, 7:56 am Post #103 - May 31st, 2007, 7:56 am
    In this week's Time Out Chicago, in the Anteprima review, Heather Shouse writes:
    You could open a fried cicada stand at Foster Avenue and Clark Street, and if you piped in house music and staffed it with a cute boy, you'd be in business.


    Edited to include link to TOC review
    Last edited by germuska on May 31st, 2007, 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #104 - May 31st, 2007, 8:00 am
    Post #104 - May 31st, 2007, 8:00 am Post #104 - May 31st, 2007, 8:00 am
    leek wrote:Note - in the Red Eye this AM it said that if you are allergic to shellfish you MIGHT be allergic to Cicadas (to eating them, not to walking among them). They checked with an allergist who said proceed with caution if you are among the allergic.

    See
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20050601/letters.html (2nd letter)

    http://oaktreep.ehost.com/oaktreephysic ... /id12.html
    "Question: Do you really want to eat something that's been marinating in lawn fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals for the past 17 years?
    Sage advice: You should not even think about eating cicadas if you have a seafood allergy."


    Absolutely, and I noticed that ABC, WLS, and WTTW all made a point about avoiding the little devils if you have a crustacean allergy.

    The lawn fertilizer issue is relevant, too, and I think it's probably best to harvest the bugs in forest preserves -- problem is, they have not come out of the ground in many forest preserves where it tends to be cooler than avenues along the street (cicadas need soil temp of 60 degrees to come out -- and they're just getting that now).

    germuska wrote:In this week's Time Out Chicago, in the Anteprima review, Heather Shouse writes:
    You could open a fried cicada stand at Foster Avenue and Clark Street, and if you piped in house music and staffed it with a cute boy, you'd be in business.


    I already told Heather I wasn't interested in the position. :roll:
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #105 - May 31st, 2007, 8:02 am
    Post #105 - May 31st, 2007, 8:02 am Post #105 - May 31st, 2007, 8:02 am
    i'm sorry if i came off sounding holier-than-thou. that wasn't my intention. and, yes, i do eat cows, but they dont make an appearance once every 17 years and they're raised to be eaten. there are always cicadas around, other kinds. now that you've discovered that cicadas are edible, do you intend to continue to eat other versions, or will this just be a treat indulged in every 17 years?? i'm not feeling sorry for the cicadas, i just dont understand the impulse to want to eat them.
  • Post #106 - May 31st, 2007, 8:06 am
    Post #106 - May 31st, 2007, 8:06 am Post #106 - May 31st, 2007, 8:06 am
    justjoan wrote:now that you've discovered that cicadas are edible, do you intend to continue to eat other versions, or will this just be a treat indulged in every 17 years?? i'm not feeling sorry for the cicadas, i just dont understand the impulse to want to eat them.


    I didn't really discover they were edible; people in Asia, Mexico and other parts of the world have known cicadas were edible for many thousands of years. For me, it's partly about pushing the boundaries of the edible and exercising my role as omnivore at the top of the food chain...plus, it grosses out my kids.

    Would I try cicadas of different species and vintages? Absolutely.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #107 - May 31st, 2007, 8:47 am
    Post #107 - May 31st, 2007, 8:47 am Post #107 - May 31st, 2007, 8:47 am
    justjoan wrote:i dont get it. why the desire to eat them? is it just to prove how adventurous one is? these little critters spend 17 years underground. they come up-they dont hurt the trees, they dont bite humans. they make a lovely noise. i'm not gonna eat them- but rather enjoy their company for the short time they are here.


    Joan,

    As evidenced in a recent Planet Earth episode, everyone in the forest eats them. That's why they emerge in such huge numbers. They have no defenses and every animal from birds to mammals gorges themselves, (why should we be any different?) yet there are still enough cicadas left to perpetuate the species. After the cicadas emerge, there is a rare (every 17 years) "peace", where even the predators are sated and life is relatively safe and easy for the smaller creatures of the forest. As a side note, even the trees benefit. When the cicadas die off, their decomposing bodies make for the largest fertilization event on earth, being so nutritious to the trees in the forest that they exhibit a growth spurt every 17 years, as evidenced by thicker rings in their trunks.
    Last edited by stevez on May 31st, 2007, 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #108 - May 31st, 2007, 8:53 am
    Post #108 - May 31st, 2007, 8:53 am Post #108 - May 31st, 2007, 8:53 am
    stevez wrote:After the cicadas emerge, there is a rare (every 17 years) "peace", where even the predators are sated and life is relatively safe and easy for the smaller creatures of the forest. As a side note, even the trees benefit.



    Right, I forgot, THAT was actually my goal: to make life safe and easy for smaller creatures of the forest. And I want to help trees. :D

    Seriously, though, very interesting points, stevez, and I hope my garden benefits some from the vast influx of organic material that I anticipate in my back yard.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #109 - May 31st, 2007, 8:57 am
    Post #109 - May 31st, 2007, 8:57 am Post #109 - May 31st, 2007, 8:57 am
    On my walk yesterday, I noted that the majority of the cicadas on the ground were born crippled and inferm. Many had damaged or poorly formed wings. These cicadas were doomed never to fly, never to mate, never to sing in the lofty treetops with their brethen. I was sad.

    It may be contradictory to both feel for the animals we eat and eating them. Coming to terms with this paradox is part of what it is to be human. It is good.

    -ramon
  • Post #110 - May 31st, 2007, 12:07 pm
    Post #110 - May 31st, 2007, 12:07 pm Post #110 - May 31st, 2007, 12:07 pm
    Hi,

    The really big surge has not hit yet, though my front yard is a Cicada wonderland:

    Cicada resting on Egyptian Walking Onion:
    Image

    Cicada on Chive flower:
    Image

    Cicada on a Peony bud:
    Image

    Cicada exoskeletons hanging off a Star of Persia allium:
    Image

    There are exit holes all over the yard. More to come!

    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 #111 - May 31st, 2007, 12:16 pm
    Post #111 - May 31st, 2007, 12:16 pm Post #111 - May 31st, 2007, 12:16 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:The really big surge has not hit yet, though my front yard is a Cicada wonderland:

    C2,

    What wonderful pictures.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #112 - May 31st, 2007, 12:19 pm
    Post #112 - May 31st, 2007, 12:19 pm Post #112 - May 31st, 2007, 12:19 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:The really big surge has not hit yet, though my front yard is a Cicada wonderland:

    C2,

    What wonderful pictures.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    I agree; quite excellent.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #113 - May 31st, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Post #113 - May 31st, 2007, 1:24 pm Post #113 - May 31st, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Those are some great photos, Cathy. Here are some more of mine:

    Similar to previous, B and the cicada “Quarterback”
    Image

    evil cicada
    Image

    cicada mirrored ascension
    Image

    lonely cicada
    Image

    when two cicadas meet
    Image

    cicada fight
    Image

    B contemplates eating the cicada
    Image

    I have so many cicada pics I can’t keep track of them. I also need to remember to always set 600 width, not the 500 width I usually end up with.

    Here are the pics I’d still like to get:

    -Cicada with river in background. I actually “posed” this one the other day, but the lighting was poor.

    -Cicada with wild flowers. Just hasn’t happened yet.

    -Cicada in flight. Very difficult!

    -The elusive blue eyed cicada. I have pics of an orange eyed one and I saw one with tan eyes that was not very photogenic. There’s a pic of one here on Flickr that I suspect is faked. Another here looks more white to me, but is unique. Here are the winners of a contest.

    I’m also working on a postable cicada pic with sound, but zooomr has been down for a week. I’m not sure how that would work

    If you beat me to any of these, more cicada power to you! Too bad the sun is not out today.

    Oh yeah, perhaps a couple of recipes.

    In other woods news, I believe I spotted the beaver I’ve been hunting. I got off a couple of shots, but they are inconclusive. Seemed more like a river otter to me, but those are much rarer.

    -ramon
  • Post #114 - May 31st, 2007, 1:52 pm
    Post #114 - May 31st, 2007, 1:52 pm Post #114 - May 31st, 2007, 1:52 pm
    Ramon wrote:Those are some great photos, Cathy. Here are some more of mine:

    Ramon,

    Nice pics as well.

    Who knew cicadas were so photogenic.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #115 - May 31st, 2007, 9:13 pm
    Post #115 - May 31st, 2007, 9:13 pm Post #115 - May 31st, 2007, 9:13 pm
    This may be of little interest to those of you in the boondocks, but here in the city, I haven't heard a single cicada... until I listened to this MP3 from Smithsonian that my friend Chris found.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #116 - May 31st, 2007, 9:23 pm
    Post #116 - May 31st, 2007, 9:23 pm Post #116 - May 31st, 2007, 9:23 pm
    Hi,

    Yesterday and today were the first bits of cicada singing. Since they have not reached critical mass yet, the song is so faint it almost feels like it is a solo. So faint the ambient noises muffled it. Otherwise I would have made a sound or video clip to record the song.

    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 #117 - May 31st, 2007, 10:27 pm
    Post #117 - May 31st, 2007, 10:27 pm Post #117 - May 31st, 2007, 10:27 pm
    Why don't those critters fly away when they see you approach or touch them? Are they not scared of movement or contact?
  • Post #118 - May 31st, 2007, 10:43 pm
    Post #118 - May 31st, 2007, 10:43 pm Post #118 - May 31st, 2007, 10:43 pm
    This past Tuesday lunchtime, driving down Lawrence at 50 mph, at the Des Plaines River (say just east of O'Hare), the cicadas were so loud I could hear them clearly, even though my radio was on. Some sounded singly like a water sprinkler (that chug-chug-chug), others "whirred", and when many sang together it was a blur of white noise -- pleasant, but I would not ask them to join the band.

    Wednesday around three I saw and heard them as numerous as the plague on a residential lane of Park Ridge. I talked with a couple people on the street, and most were enjoying the novelty of it all. One flew up and landed on my shoulder. I drove around with him for awhile, and we had a long conversation in pirate voice.

    It's just a matter of time, Joe, prepare the bunker.

    -ramon
  • Post #119 - May 31st, 2007, 10:51 pm
    Post #119 - May 31st, 2007, 10:51 pm Post #119 - May 31st, 2007, 10:51 pm
    Snark wrote:Why don't those critters fly away when they see you approach or touch them? Are they not scared of movement or contact?


    If you spent seventeen years underground, you'd be confused too. Next thing you know, your skin cracks off, you have red beady eyes, and wings that you are not sure what fer.

    -ramon
  • Post #120 - June 1st, 2007, 9:02 am
    Post #120 - June 1st, 2007, 9:02 am Post #120 - June 1st, 2007, 9:02 am
    From the Smithsonian:

    The sound is made with structures known as tymbals which are located on the sides of the first abdominal segment, near the top just behind where the hindwings attach. Large muscles contract, causing the tymbal surface to bend inwards which produces a vibrating click. These vibrating clicking noises are enhanced by a large air chamber that extends well into the abdomen. Repeated contractions by thousands of cicadas can create a spectacular din.


    How much does this explanation differ from what Casserio wrote c. 1600 in De vocis auditusq organis? I only ever looked at the pictures, but I believe he discusses the sound of cicadas.

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