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How To Hunt a Cicada Smorgasbord

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  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:24PM (#43348999)
    You know, in Japan, parents tell their children that chicken tastes just like squid.
    • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:27PM (#43349039) Homepage Journal

      I'll take everyone's word for this.

      I'd rather listen to them sing, than eat them. Something about their song puts me in mind of tall Cottonwood treeds, whiling away summers along the lazy rivers of the midwest, where I spent my youth fishing for carp (didn't eat them, either) with corn for bait and a lugnut for a sinker.

      Now I spend summers dealing with technology issues. Hmm.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I spent a year in Kentucky and one of the restaurants served Cicada breaded and deep fried. I didn't try it.

      • by Type44Q (1233630)
        Funny you should mention that.. I can still remember the sounds the cicadas made in the trees during the warmer months of my childhood spent growing up in Japan (my parents called them "locusts" but you'll have to excuse them; they were from the Midwest so I expect they couldn't have told a plague of locusts from a plague of boils).

        I seem to recall that they were called "semis" in Japanese...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Now that mention that.. I can still recall the sounds the semis made hauling off trees to the lumber mills during the warmer months in my youth in the Adirondacks.

        • Type44Q, hajimemashite!

          Where in Japan were you at? I spent most of my childhood in Misawa (north end of Honshu), and fondly remember the cicadas showing up every few years while I was there, too.
          • by X0563511 (793323)

            Yea, your cicadas sound interesting. They have a call pattern and such.

            Here they just sound like tiny air-raid sirens blaring for 5 minutes at a time :/

            EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.....

          • by Type44Q (1233630)

            Where in Japan were you at? I spent most of my childhood in Misawa (north end of Honshu), and fondly remember the cicadas showing up every few years while I was there, too.

            You'll have to forgive me; bokuno nihongo wa... totemu warui? Ipai no nihongo wasuremashita? Something along those lines, anyway. :p

            I was born in Tokyo while my dad was studying at Tokyo University; we moved out to Kamakura after he'd graduated and taken a civilian job with the U.S. Navy at Yokosaka. My parents wanted the "full immersion for me" so rather that send me to school on base, I attended a rural yochii-en (sp?) for two years (where I was the only other person who spoke any English besides the old

            • I was there twice, from '74 to '76 and then again from '79 to '83. My dad was in the Air Force, and Misawa was his first assignment after getting out of Basic. We really enjoyed it, so he requested Misawa again, thus the second tour.

              It sounds like you got a lot more immersion in the culture than I did -- I went to a DoD school on the Air Force base. While we spent lots of time off-base, I still lived in a small microcosm of the U.S. for the most part. Still, it was enough to fill me with a life-long l
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        The only thing their "singing" does for me is put me in a nasty mood.

        From a distance they sound fine - but when they are right outside your window it sounds like someone screeching "EEEEEE" in your ear non-stop.

        • There are many different varieties of cicadas. Each with their own song. In northern MS when some of my family lives, they have a long 2 to 5 min drone and each individual has a slightly different pitch so it's a continuous diatonic white noise that pretty much starts in the spring and doesn't stop until fall. There are so many of them they are impossible to escape.

          In North Carolina, where I used to live near the mountains, they were more like frogs. They had shorter 3 to 5 seconds drones that weren't so ba

      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        "I'd rather listen to them sing, than eat them."

        Come back if one of them got behind your fake ceiling or the drywall. You'll prefer to eat them so that you can sleep. They can make noise for _weeks_.

      • by CTachyon (412849)

        I grew up in the Wichita, Kansas area with Tibicen pruinosa. Here's a YouTube video of one singing [youtube.com].

        One year (summer of '98?) the cicadas emerged in such numbers that they refused to stop singing at night. A wall of sound, blaring like a siren 24 hours a day, so loud you couldn't escape it indoors. After the first 50 kills on the front porch, my cats didn't know what to do with themselves. Tibicen is an annual genus, so I can only assume that the previous year's generation had simply been... busy.

    • by kwerle (39371)

      You know, in Japan, parents tell their children that chicken tastes just like squid.

      OK, seriously. They don't, do they?

      • If I had gone with the more standard backwards "In Soviet Russia, cicadia eats YOU!", perhaps you and the adjectivially-challenged AC directly above you would have gotten the joke. Then again, probably not.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, that was just a funny bit of anachronism. Emperor Temmu issued a decree banning the consumption of non-fish meat, including chicken, in 675 A.D. And the culture was slow to warm back up to non-fish meat in the ages to come.

        The 6 Tokyo Outback Steakhouses use different seasonings than the US versions (much to the disgust of my Japanese girlfriend), but their culture is quite integrated with all forms of modern food... except mint, which she claims is like eating toothpaste.

        • which she claims is like eating toothpaste

          That's because it IS like eating toothpaste!

          • by Kreigaffe (765218)

            There is nothing finer in life than a good mint julep, sitting in the shade of a warm summer day as a calm breeze works its way across the porch and you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:25PM (#43349009)

    Many people who don't have shellfish allergies are still allergic to insects like cicadas and scorpions. It's surprisingly common... so if you want to be adventurous, take precautions to make sure you don't bite down and keel over.

  • No. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No.

    • Why not? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No.

      we humans evolved to eat pretty much anything that moves. And thinking about it, we do ingest some horrid things of our making like booze. And we eat mushrooms, fungi, bacteria, and other nasty shit that makes these bugs seem like steak.

      • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:50PM (#43349335)

        other nasty shit that makes these bugs seem like steak.

        Yeah, like asparagus!

      • by ByOhTek (1181381)

        No.

        we humans evolved to eat pretty much anything that moves. [...]

        And many things that don't!

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > we humans evolved to eat pretty much anything that moves.

        Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

      • by P-niiice (1703362)
        cucumbers
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because we live in the West and have a deeply ingrained cultural taboo against insect consumption, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you really want to embrace diversity, then you must embrace the fact that Americans don't eat insects and horses.

      • by Kreigaffe (765218)

        That's all fine and good, and I agree wholeheartedly.

        That said, I'm.. I'm full. I ate earlier, at home. Naw, really. Thanks but no thanks. I suddenly developed a severe allergy.

    • Ha, shrinking violets, you probably eat more insects than this on a monthly basis

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Food_Defect_Action_Levels [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entomophagy#Unintentional_ingestion [wikipedia.org]

      Take off the wings, head, legs and identifiable bits like you do with any other animal and poof, delicious food. Better for you than most other foods as well, high in protein. Shrimps are more or less the same thing.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Shrimp is full of lipids that we should actually avoid consuming if possible. Wonder if that would be true with insects as well?

  • by Doug Otto (2821601) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:35PM (#43349147)
    Do they make your pee stink?
    • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @01:40PM (#43349879) Journal

      You've just eaten a handful of bugs. Seems to me what your pee smells like is the least of your worries.

      • by matrim99 (123693) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @02:19PM (#43350249) Homepage
        Why, because they look funny to us? Check out how freaky lobsters look.

        Because they're small? So are all of those tasty yeast microbes.

        Because you were told that bugs aren't food, so eating them is something to worry about? Some bugs are very tasty, and most are quite safe to eat and are quite nutritious.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          Ok, understood. You first.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Over an average life a person will swallow 2 spiders in their sleep. They drop real fast down the line they spin, I think they're attracted to the C02 we breathe out while sleeping on our backs with our mouths open. So, clean away those cobwebs in your bedroom! The more you know...

          • by AJWM (19027)

            That's okay, somebody else can have four and I'll just pass. Still averages two each.

            Seriously, can't imagine why a spider would be attracted to CO2. Mosquitoes, yes. Spiders?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing

    • by X0563511 (793323) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @02:44PM (#43350531) Homepage Journal

      Alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

      • by Kreigaffe (765218)

        Actually, y'know, I could actually see that. Personally, at least. There is no way that right now I'd eat one (my dog LOVES them, but he's free to them..)..

        but once I get good and drunk, well. There is not much that I won't put in my mouth. It doesn't make me proud to say that, but there it is.
        Only way I'll eat crawfish or sushi, and sometimes maybe I buy beer for the singular purpose of drinking them and eating a can of sardines once I'm a little tipsy, because sardines are actually pretty damn good an

      • by hey! (33014)

        Well, I haven't tried cicada, but I *have* tried escargot (with champagne). To tell you the truth, broiled in garlic butter that way it *could* have been cicadas in that snail shell. If you broiled snot in that much garlic you wouldn't be able to tell what it was.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The economy isn't that bad. Yet.

  • I know food prices have gone up a lot recently, but damn.
  • C'mon guys, I was expecting at least a cool mashup with google maps showing the best zones, (far enough away from pesticide spraying but close enough to civilisation, beer, hospitals etc.)
    No.
    Maybe a Pi-powered robot to collect and cook the the things?
    Nope.
    Plans to 3d print-out your very own collection weaponry?
    Negative.

    What is this, the new Slashdot, news for survivalists?

    • Re:News for nerds? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @01:37PM (#43349841) Journal

      > What is this, the new Slashdot, news for survivalists?

      We may all be survivalists someday.

      • by LanMan04 (790429)

        We may all be survivalists someday.

        Fuck that. That's the reason I have a gun.

        Not to take food from other people and become a warlord, but to off myself if civilization falls apart. No desire to star in a real life version of "The Road", thank you very much!

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          We may all be survivalists someday.

          Fuck that. That's the reason I have a gun.

          Not to take food from other people and become a warlord, but to off myself if civilization falls apart. No desire to star in a real life version of "The Road", thank you very much!

          Hm. Ok, well, more for us, then.

          • by LanMan04 (790429)

            Hm. Ok, well, more for us, then.

            Enjoy hell on Earth! :)

            • by roc97007 (608802)

              Hm. Ok, well, more for us, then.

              Enjoy hell on Earth! :)

              One person's hell is another person's extended camping trip...

    • by meisdug (1603907)

      Here is a good map of this year's emergence:

      http://www.magicicada.org/about/brood_pages/broodII.php [magicicada.org]

      If you've never heard these things, it is definitely something you should experienced at least once in your life. But eating them....I dunno.

  • So, you're eating a bug, and it tastes like asparagus?? Bonus!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it doesn't come from a factory of some sort it can't be food ...

  • Like, is this to get us used to eating bugs?

    I foresee a time when government officials and executives eat steak, and the rest of us are eating freeze dried cicadas out of a cellophane bag. "I've tried to rehydrate them, but the smell is revolting. It's easier to eat them dry."

    Hey, it's protein.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Deep Space 9 taught me anything it's that capitalists love a good beetle-steak, or fresh tube-grubs.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        If Deep Space 9 taught me anything it's that capitalists love a good beetle-steak, or fresh tube-grubs.

        I think the point that deep space 9 was making is that the rich gauge food by its rarity, not by its flavor. So you'd aspire to be rich enough to afford beetle-steak, only because nobody else could, not because it was, you know, good. I'm sure you could think of real expensive foods that may fall into that category.

        There was an article a few years back about an Al Gore fundraising dinner where the entree was some weird deep sea bass that (it turns out) was endangered. Once word got out, they took it off

  • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @01:55PM (#43350017) Homepage Journal

    When I was younger I used to climb up trees and try to catch them. Wow, they've got quite a voice. Sounds like you have a fire alarm bell from school going off in your hands when you manage to grab one off a tree!

    Anyway, I remember when I watched Red Planet, how much the bugs (cephlopods or whatever they called them) looked like cicadas. VERY similar looking.

    And they're interesting to watch fly, sort of like Wyle E Coyote with an Acme Jet Pack. I don't think they even bother navigating as they fly through the air far too fast for their own good, running into walls, cars, houses, PEOPLE, whatever. If they can grab it after smacking it, they call it a "landing".

    Neighbor went to Japan for a vacation. They apparently grow them extra large size there, and when they're in full chorus in the parks you can't even hear the person sitting next to you on the bench trying to talk with you.

    AAANd one final thought. Another neighbor next door told me one time he got bit by one. I've seen then, they have a mosquito-like straw on their head, and they can tap into trees to drink sap during their 7-10 days alive as an adult, so I suppose it's possible they might confuse you for a tree... has anyone else heard of getting bit by one?

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      There are wasps that specifically hunt cicadas and, if there are lots of cicadas around, they will be too.

      • Cicada killer wasps are freaking scary as hell. I'm not afraid of bees/wasps/hornets, but I sure as hell take care not to mess with them either.

        Given that Cicadas are pretty 'big' bugs, watching a giant freaking panzer tank of a wasp fly off with one is freaky as hell.

        • by Kreigaffe (765218)

          I get cicada killer wasps in my yard, last 4 years or so.

          Yeah, it's kinda scary when they all come out. They swarm the lawn, very literally. They tend to not actually hit you, they're pretty agile, fast too.. but JESUS! SWARM OF BEES CIRCLING MY HOUSE! Yeah, little scary.

          I let them go, though. They're just gettin their chow on, helpin me keep the cicadas in line (my dog helps with that too...), and to get rid of the wasps would take all kinds of nasty shit I don't want to dump in my lawn if I can help

  • I'd switch to a diet of cicadas but...ugh, asparagus, yuck.
  • Why the revulsion? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kbahey (102895) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @02:16PM (#43350219) Homepage

    Why all this revulsion at eating an insect? There are lots of exotic yet disgusting food [baheyeldin.com] out there in this world.

    And how are Cicadas that much different from edible locusts [baheyeldin.com], which are eaten in the Middle East, Mexico and elsewhere?

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      Why all this revulsion at eating an insect? There are lots of exotic yet disgusting food [baheyeldin.com] out there in this world.

      And how are Cicadas that much different from edible locusts [baheyeldin.com], which are eaten in the Middle East, Mexico and elsewhere?

      I wondered about this for a long time. Given how common insects are as a food in many parts of the world, why is it so taboo in Europe?

      And then I learned they're not kosher.

      That's right...

      • by kbahey (102895)

        Actually, locusts are specifically kosher.

        The recent locust swarms in southern Israel attracted lots of religious Jews seeking them as an exotic delicacy.

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