You were warned that they would force you to eat bugs and now this café is putting it on the menu

Photo by Alpha, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr,

Restaurants try to put creative items on the menu to get attention and gather customers.

Some bistros add items on the menu just for the shock value, hoping to get some press attention or TikTok videos.

Now one café in New Orleans is getting ready to add quite a disgusting new addition to its already unique menu.

Louisiana restaurant plans to serve cicadas to customers

You might have already seen the headlines about the trillions of cicadas that are getting ready to emerge across the United States.

These massive, winged insects are not just loud, they’re also edible — at least according to one restaurant owner.

The Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans is blocks away from fine dining restaurants in the French Quarter, but it’s known for serving a variety of odd dishes that contain insects.

Offerings from the “Bug Appetit” cafe include the “Cinnamon Bug Crunch,” chili-fried waxworms, and the café’s signature Cajun-spiced crickets.

Cicadas can stay buried deep underground for years until they eventually surface and take over vast swaths of land.

This unusual emergence can occur every 13 or 17 years, and this year, two massive groups are gearing up to emerge around the same time.

These large bugs average around 1 million per acre over hundreds of millions of acres and will be seen across portions of 16 states throughout the South and Midwest.

When the ground warms to around 64 degrees, the brown bugs come out of the ground and eventually get darker in color when they mature.

Zack Lemann, the Insectarium’s animal collections curator, says he’s been working on a few different cicada dishes to add to the menu.

One consists of a green salad with apple, almonds, blueberry vinaigrette, and yes–roasted cicadas.

The combination includes fried cicada nymphs with warm creole mustard and soy sauce added to the top of the salad.

Lemann noted that he also “[does] dragonflies in a similar manner,” as he used a pair of tweezers to place the bugs in a container of flour before frying them in oil.

Cicadas taste like nuts?

Some claim that cicadas taste similar to nuts or toasted seeds, depending on the type and how they’re prepared.

The New Orleans restaurant isn’t the first place to serve them to guests, either.

There are some menus and cookbooks that feature the insects, including a cookbook called “Cicada-Licious” from the University of Maryland in 2004.

Lemann said, “Every culture has things that they love to eat and, maybe, things that are taboo or things that people just sort of wrinkle their nose and frown their brow at. And there’s no reason to do that with insects when you look at the nutritional value, their quality on the plate, how they taste, the environmental benefits of harvesting insects instead of dealing with livestock.”

Meanwhile, Lemann has been trying to ensure that the Bug Appetit café gets the legal clearance required to serve wild-caught cicadas.

In the meantime, he’s working on new recipes while he waits for this spring’s emergence.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.