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In the coming weeks, Cicada Brood II will invade the D.C. area. Instead of whipping out the bug spray, reach for a frying pan. Cicadas are edible, and possibly even delicious. (Plus, the sizzle of hot oil is far more appealing than the deafening rattle of cicadas’ mating calls.) Nymph cicadas have a chewy texture, while the mature bugs are crunchier, with a nutty flavor. Five local chefs shared their ideas for preparing a cicada snack.
Cicadas candied with beer then lightly fried and tossed in a house-made barbecue spice blend and topped with cashews.
Chef, Thunder Burger & Bar
Crispy cicada taco with pan-fried, chili-dusted cicadas and pickled green mango salsa in a corn tortilla. Dessert would be a wasabi dark chocolate-covered cicada.
Chef, The Source
Wok-fired cicadas with lots of garlic and chili.
Mixologist, Room 11
Brood 2 Rickey with Dancing Pines bourbon infused with cicadas (females taste best), lime juice, and soda or sparkling water.
Chef, Bistro Vivant
“The REALLY Po’ Boy” with cicadas drowned in Pabst Blue Ribbon, then beer-battered and fried on a hoagie with lettuce and mayo. Side snack: molasses kettle-corn cicadas.