This is the cicada cookie recipe we’ve waited 17 years for

A newly-emerged Brood X cicada
Wouldn’t this make a great cookie topping?
Photo: Bill Clark (Getty Images)

Do you hear that distant humming? It’s the sound of cicada season! For the past 17 years, Brood X have been hibernating underground, and now they’ve emerged and are ready to buzz. Kind of like humans after the pandemic, actually.

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We’ve already heard that cicadas taste similar to shrimp or lobster, but without the brine of the sea. In other words, they have a bit of sweetness to them. You know what else is sweet? Dessert! So CBS Sunday Morning went deep into the archives, all the way back to 2004, the last time Brood X made an appearance, and uncovered a booklet called Cicada-licious: Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas by Jenna Jadin and the University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs. (That would be a great band name, by the way. I imagine they would play at weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs.) The booklet explains:

A staple food in the past for Australian Aborigines, New Guineans, Siamese people, and American Indians, cicadas were considered a special delicacy in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as modern-day Japan. They contain a high protein content, and since cicadas eat only vegetable matter, they are a pure and wholesome food source. Additionally, they are said to be tasty, having a delicate nutty flavor.

The best time to eat cicadas are when they are newly hatched, before their shells have formed. Jadin and the Cicadamaniacs developed a handful of dishes, including tacos, stir-fries, a Maryland bug-boil, and dumplings, as well as desserts.

But in honor of this current great epoch in human and cicada history, Jadin has shared her recipe for Emergence Cookies with CBS Sunday Morning. “These should look like cicadas emerging out of a little pile of chunky mud!” she explained. So essentially, they are chocolate cookies with cicada garnish. The real difficulty, I’d imagine, is gathering the 60 cicadas this recipe calls for. It’s time to go hunting!

Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

How can something be a “staple food” when it is only available for a few months every 17 years?