publish date 2021-06-14 16:38:40
The Chinese are not the only ones who love to cook and eat insects and wild animals, Americans also share this strange behavior in the eyes of many cultures around the world.
With the emergence of millions of “cicadas” insects in North America, in early June, and their spread in 15 US states and Washington, DC, many tendencies emerged among Americans to hunt and cook cicadas.
There are those who prefer to eat it “fried or roasted” and another mixes it in the ingredients of pizza or pasta or mixes it with bread dough or decorates chocolate dishes with it.
The Chinese’s motives for eating insects and wild animals differ from the Americans’ motives. This strange tradition has taken root in China and has been inherited since the years of the famine in the last century, but the Americans have resorted to cooking cicadas in an attempt to adapt to this annoying visitor with loud buzzing, which flocks in millions of numbers to North America. Annually or periodically every 13 or 17 years.
“Do swarms of cicadas bother you? You can just stick them in a fork.”
The writer says that the swarms of red-eyed insects that reappeared after 17 years of being underground, provided an opportunity to prepare home-made snacks, by collecting them “small and soft” before their bodies hardened, and using them to decorate pizza or chocolate dishes.
Mark explains that the cicadas appeared in the home of University of Maryland entomologists Michael Raub and Paula Shrewsbury in Columbia, Maryland.
Recipes for cooking cicadas
“We have to overcome our hatred of insects,” says David George Gordon, author of the Eat-a-Bug Cookbook. “This feeling is strong and deeply rooted in most people in our culture.”
He suggests to cook cicada quick-frying methods or mix it into a dough for making bread, especially banana bread.
There are many benefits to eating cicadas from Gordon’s point of view, saying that they are edible, rich in protein, good fats, calcium, iron, zinc, gluten-free, low in fat and low in carbohydrates.
From an environmental standpoint, Gordon explains, cicadas emit less gases than livestock, and consume less farmland or water.
Accept cicadas as food
The author of the famous cookbook notes that the number of foods containing insects is increasing, such as “noodles”, and says that in parts of Asia, some insects are sold in bags such as peanuts or potato chips.
What about others’ impression of what Gordon has to say? He explains that people now take his talk about cooking insects more seriously.
The author of the “Eat-a-Bug Cookbook” says that periodic cicadas can be caught easily as soon as they appear above the ground by hand or with a small net, and to stop their growth he recommends drowning them in ice water or freezing them.
Experts advise catching cicadas from areas that have not been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals.
Gordon offers readers of the “Chicago Sun-Times” a step-by-step method for making pizza from cicadas, and recommends eating them fresh.
As cicada recipes spread among Americans, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to those who suffer from seafood allergies to avoid eating cicadas.
“Cicadas are a healthier option for the planet, especially in light of the fact that we will soon have to feed 9 billion people,” says Gina Gaden, a biologist and environmentalist who has served as a climate change adviser to UN agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jaden notes that once high-cost lobster was so revolting in the West that it was fed to prisoners, but perceptions are changing.
The biologist and environmentalist notes that the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated in 2006 that about 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to animals raised for their meat such as beef, sheep, camels and chicken, which cicadas do not.
The IndyStar website warns against catching adult cicadas for cooking, and advises collecting small insects either when they come out of the ground directly or while they are changing their external structure, and stresses the importance of catching them alive and in good health and freezing them in case they are late in cooking.
Meal for school students
And the “IndyStar” website published a way to provide a snack for school students, consisting of more than 1,400 cicadas!
The method of preparing the “Cicada” dish includes washing it with cold water several times, then soaking it in brine for 30 minutes, then filtering it and letting it dry, after which it can be boiled with water and vinegar for 5 minutes, and filtered from the boiling water.
They can then be fried in oil or roasted for 10 minutes in a 400-degree oven, salted and served. Garlic powder, spices, hot sauce or even chocolate may be added, depending on the flavour.
He says he knows most students will be disgusted, but in many cultures insects are a primary source of protein, and that disgust is already in our heads, and once we get over the idea that we’re eating an insect we’ll enjoy its delicious snack as a snack.
“Andy Star” refers to a small celebration held by some residents of Bloomington, Indiana, as soon as cicadas appeared above the ground and on trees, during which the Crispy cicada salad was served after being cooked with olive oil, butter, vinegar, minced garlic, fresh thyme and pepper.
Cicada cooking history
It’s a rare delicacy of exoskeleton arthropods such as shrimp, lobsters and crabs,” Issa Betancourt, an entomologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, told Lancaster Online.
And about the history of cooking cicadas, the author of the book “Circadian Cicadas”, Charles Lister, talks in 1898 about this experience, and says: “They were collected and cooked in soup, but soup is not the best way, because it turned into scattered pieces of skin, and the most desirable cooking method is frying Shrimp style.
Most people like them deep fried and dipped in a green sauce or salad, biologist and cicada expert Jane Kretzky told National Geographic in 2013.
And in 2016, Rising Creek Bakery in Mt, Pennsylvania covered chocolate chip cookies and buttered ice cream cups with a single cicada, and also served up an omelette stuffed with avocado, grilled vegetables, and cicadas.
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