Nick Schwartz of Fishkill, New York, recently joined CNN iReport and decided to share the story of his first-ever attempt at insect-based cooking back in June.
During the Brood II cicada swarm of 2013, he spotted what he describes as thousands of the creatures hanging out in trees and making a buzzing sound comparable to that of a low-flying airplane. So many, in fact, that while he was fishing in Fishkill, he caught a brown trout that appeared to have ingested several cicadas in its belly.
Schwartz says one day, he picked a live cicada off the tree and decided to see what it tasted like: "The insides were almost like a melted gummy worm. It wasn't really the taste, just the texture that was gross."
He also decided to pick a few cicadas and take them back to cook them. After marinating them in Worcestershire sauce for two weeks, he fried them up: "When we fried them, we ate everything. The wings just disintegrated in oil. When you cooked them, there was no sensation that you were eaten them or that they were there. They were all fried up and crispy."
Bathed in Buffalo sauce, Schwartz says they were a tasty treat. He describes them as a culinary "foil," or a kind of food that imparts little flavor on its own.
"They almost tasted like nothing but what we put in them, but they were kind of crunchy. The thing I can compare them to is kale chips that you roast in the oven, or seaweed," he said.
After savoring his meal, Schwartz says he almost certainly will attempt a bug-cooking project again.
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