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Cicadas: Disgusting or Delicacy? It Depends Who You Ask

Roger Ingles
Cicadas rest on a tree in Delaware County.

If you live in wooded parts of Ohio, you are probably hearing the chorus produced by the cicadas these days. Many think the bugs that come out every 17 years are noisy pests. But for some, the cicadas are interesting and even on the dinner plate.

Loud doesn’t begin to describe the sound of Brood X.

The bugs have been so loud that some people have called police, mistaking them for car alarms. And many people say it's hard to have a conversation outdoors when cicadas are nearby.

Ohio State University Professor David Shetlar says cicadas are really no louder than other noises, like lawn mowers for example. He says the louder the cicadas get, the more of them that come together to procreate.

Shetlar says cicadas are safe to eat, but he likes to remove the shell first.

“I cook them with a little bit of garlic and bacon, and I have some other ones that I’m going to fry up with some garlic and butter and put them in with pasta and some alfredo sauce," Shetlar said.

He describes them as having a "buttery, nutty flavor." Shetlar says they look like cocktail shrimp when prepared. But he warns people allergic to shellfish should avoid cicadas too. He says the cicadas will likely be gone by the 4th of July.

For more on Shetlar and cicadas, watch this story on Ohio Public TV's "The State of Ohio" here: https://www.ideastream.org/programs/state-of-ohio/dewine-gop-competition-child-care-changes-covid-resistance-cicadas
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.