In the Now Guru
Registered: May 2003
Local time: 12:59 PM
Location: Fort Dix, NJ, USA
I am glad this happened. I do not understand the obsession people in the U.S. have suddenly for eating red eyed, winged insects who have yellow blood. I have always thought these insects were the most disgusting things imaginable. For some odd reason, despite the supposed every 17 year emergence of these bugs, they have been present every summer I've lived through here in New Jersey.
On with the article...
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A man who cooked and ate nearly 30 cicadas sought medical treatment after suffering a strong allergic reaction to the sauteed insects.
Broods emerge every 17 or 13 years
Mating song can reach 120 decibels
Eat sap; do not sting or bite
Expected this summer from Ga. to Tenn., in Ohio Valley and Mich., east into N.J. and N.Y.
The man showed up at a Bloomington clinic Thursday covered from head-to-toe in hives, and sheepishly told a doctor he'd caught and ate the cicadas after sauteing them in butter with crushed garlic and basil.
"He said they didn't taste too bad, but his wife didn't care for the aroma," said Dr. Al Ripani, the doctor who treated the man at Promptcare East.
The man, who has a history of asthma and shellfish allergies, suffered a "significant allergic reaction," after eating the cicadas, Ripani said.
He said he gave the man antihistamines, steroids and a shot of adrenaline, then observed him for two hours before sending him home.
After living underground for 17 years and feeding on tree roots, the so-called Brood X cicadas are emerging by the billions across the Eastern U.S.
Ripani said recent newspaper articles extolling the tastiness of cicada cuisine should have warned people that dining on the bugs can be dangerous for some people.
"Severe food allergies such as this can be fatal," he said. "I feel that needs to be stressed in these articles."
He said the University of Maryland's department of entomology's Cicada-licious cookbook, which includes recipes for Cicada Stir-Fry and Cicada Dumplings, contains a disclaimer urging people to consult a doctor before eating cicadas.
"We ask that you please take special caution if you have other food allergies, such as soy, nuts or shellfish, or if you know of any contact allergies that you may have to other insects," it states.