CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis visited Montclair State University to learn more about cicada mania.READ MORE: NYPD: MTA Employee Robbed At Gunpoint At Upper West Side Subway Station
The sight of a cicada coming out of its shell and the insect’s signature sound is 17 years in the making.
“They’re living underground for 17 years, and then packing all of their aging into this one tiny bit at the end of their lives,” professor of anthropology Dr. Cortni Borgerson explained.
Dr. Borgerson said the Brood X cicadas are only around for about four to six weeks.
“They’re going to shed, they’re going to mate,” she said. “The ladies are going to lay that next generation, and we’re not going to see them for 17 more years.”
So, while you can — bug appétit?
“It’s got a really nutty, meaty taste,” said Dr. Borgerson.
She explained they’re healthy and high in micronutrients that are often missing in people’s diets.
“Things like zinc and protein and even calcium, which we don’t usually find in meats,” she said.READ MORE: Unlicensed Long Island Massage Therapist Accused Of Touching Clients Inappropriately
DeAngelis asked, for someone who says, ‘I’m not going to eat a cicada,’ what’s the pitch to eat one?
“When you think about an insect that’s coming out of the ground compared to a lot of other shrimps and seafood you might eat, cicadas are actually a lot healthier and cleaner of a food because they’re sipping on the sap of those trees,” Dr. Borgerson replied. “Whereas a lot of the foods that look like them, like shrimp and a lot of animals we might be eating, are actually eating on waste.”
So it was time for a cicada creation. DeAngelis tried “sushi cicada,” which included a bunch of bugs pre-cooked in a pan with water and salt — no oil needed.
“I scaled the GWB, but this is the most brave thing I’ve done,” she said. “It just tastes like sushi.”
Dr. Borgerson said it’s also good for food sustainability and the environment.
“Insects, as a whole, take up a lot less land resources than many of the other meats that we’re used to eating, things like cattle, pigs or chicken,” she said.
They’re also easy to pack and share with a friend, like CBS2’s John Elliott.
“Oh Jenna, you got the bugs,” he said. “I love these things. They are so delicious.”
Adventurous eaters, enjoy them while you can. Brood X won’t be back until 2038.MORE NEWS: Police Seek Suspect In String Of Burglaries In Lower Manhattan
Dr. Borgerson got her cicadas near Princeton University, where you’ll see an abundance of the bugs. If you’re feeling adventurous, click here for her recipe.