The largest group of periodical cicadas, known as Brood X, will crawl out of the ground soon and carpet trees along the eastern United States.
Cicadas spend most of their lives underground sucking sap from tree roots. The plant-based diet gives them a green, asparagus-like flavor.
The only consequence of cicada feasting that Kritsky is aware of is overindulgence ... "Just imagine how you would react if inundated with thousands of flying Hershey Kisses," Kritsky said. "You might go nuts. I'd go nuts. That's what happens to dogs or squirrels."
The insects are best eaten just after the nymphs break open their skin and before their exoskeleton turns black and hard, cicada aficionados say. These newly hatched cicadas are called tenerals. The next best menu item is adult females. Their bellies are fat and full of nutritious eggs. Adult males, however, offer little to eat. More crunch than munch, their abdomens are hollow.
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