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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

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(Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Snacking?

Welcome to the six stages of cicada grief.

Jenna Jadin, a former entomology graduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park who created a cicada cookbook for the Brood X emergence in 2004, says the bugs were a staple food in the past for Australian Aborigines, New Guineans and American Indians. They were also considered a special delicacy in ancient Greece and Rome.

RELATED: Billions of Cicadas to Overrun East Coast After 17 Years Underground

Brood II, the one coming out of the ground to breed this year, is one of the bigger ones. There are 15 U.S. broods that emerge every 13 or 17 years, so that nearly every year, some place is overrun. Several experts say that they really don’t have a handle on how many cicadas are lurking underground in the Brood II territory — D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — but that 30 billion seems like a good estimate.

Strength in numbers is the key to cicada survival: There are so many of them that the birds can’t possibly eat them all, and those that are left over are free to multiply, Raupp says.

But a quick search of the internet goes to show that many humans have joined birds in chowing down on the bugs. It might not make a dent in the masses, but it could be tasty. And healthy, to boot. National Geographic says cicadas are high in protein, low in fat, and contain no carbohydrates.

Jadin suggests, though, that anyone with food allergies to soy, nuts, or shellfish, or contact allergies to other insects, take special caution in eating cicadas.

Below are some ways, ranging from basic to advanced, to serve up the red-eyed pests. For more, see Jadin’s Cicada-licious cookbook.

Chocolate Covered Cicadas
(courtesy of the Cicada-licious Cookbook)

Ingredients:
— 8 squares of good quality dark, white or milk chocolate
— 30 cicadas

Directions:
— Roast cicadas from 15 minutes at 225 Fahrenheit.
— Melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat.
— Dip insects in chocolate, place on wax paper and refrigerate until hardened.

Deep Fried Cicadas
(courtesy of Gizmodo.com)

Ingredients:
— 1 teaspoon salt
— 1 teaspoon pepper
— 1/2 teaspoon paprika
— 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
— 1 cup flour
— 1 egg
— 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:
— Preheat sufficient oil to fully submerge the cicadas.
— Mix salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder and flour in a small bowl.
— Combine an egg and milk in a separate bowl.
— Dip pre-blanched cicadas in the egg wash, then coat them in the flour mix and fry for two minutes.

Cicada Chip Cookies
(courtesy of Yahoo! Voices)

Ingredients:
— 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
— 1 cup brown sugar
— 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
— 1 egg
— 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
— 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
— 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
— 1/2 teaspoon salt
— 1 3/4 cups flour
— 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, slightly crushed
— 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
— 24 cicadas, frozen

Directions
— Pull off wings and legs of cicadas. Throw legs away; set wings aside. If you prefer a less crunchy version, decapitate the cicadas and throw away the heads.
— Cream butter with the sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
— Combine dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. If mix is too dry, pour in a tablespoon of milk.
— Mince the bodies of the cicadas and stir into mixture until they are indistinguishable from the chocolate chips.
— Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Top cookies with cicada wings (three to four per cookie).
— Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for a crispier cookie. Makes 12 to 15 large cookies.

El Chirper Tacos
(courtesy of the Cicada-licious Cookbook)

Ingredients:
— 2 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
— 1/2 pound newly-emerged cicadas
— 3 serrano chilies, raw, finely chopped
— 1 tomato, finely chopped
— 1 onion, finely chopped
— 1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste
— 1/2 tsp cumin
— 3 tsp taco seasoning mix
— 1 handful cilantro, chopped
— Taco shells, to serve
— Sour cream
— Shredded cheddar cheese
— Shredded lettuce

Directions:
— Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the cicadas for 10
minutes, or until cooked through.
— Remove from pan and roughly chop into 1/4 inch cubes. Place back in
pan.
— Add the chopped onions, chilies, and tomato, and season with salt,
and fry for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
— Sprinkle with ground pepper, cumin, and oregano, to taste.
— Serve in taco shells and garnish with cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, and
cheddar cheese .

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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